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Maybe It Needed Some Air. Connecticut Conference of Municipalities to Confront Executive Director James Finley’s Drunken Behavior, Public Urination.


As Elaine Benes would say, “He took it out.” A witness to an unsavory April 11th, post-Brown Rudnick marketing party confirms what residents of the Capitol village have been repeating with astonishment.

Connecticut Conference of Municipalities (CCM) Executive Director James Finley joined some House Republican caucus and staff members in adjourning from the party to Max Downtown on Hartford’s Asylum Strett. Finley, who was convicted of drunk driving in 2009 and a year later pleaded guilty to a violation of probation arising out of that conviction, was drunk. A kind staff member tried to divert Finley from the unwanted attention he was paying to a member of the group to a discussion of tax policy. Finley responded with a stream of abuse on the irrelevance of House Republicans and the inadequacies of their leadership. The atmosphere was ugly. Finley was escorted out.

There are a lot of tall and wide windows at Max Downtown. Some patrons, including the House Republican contingent, could see Finley staggering on the sidewalk and then, a witness confirms, urinating on it. People in politics see many unseemly acts, causing some to be become hardened to the world. This astounded all.

CCM collects millions in dues from the state’s towns and cities. Local taxpayers fund the organization and expect it to conduct its affairs with some dignity. Its effectiveness has been diminished by Finley’s prolonged drunken incident.

The head of the CCM board, Torrington Mayor Ryan Bingham, said today he was made aware of the incident last week and “is taking it seriously.” Bingham has spoken to Finley. The organization’s personnel committee will discuss Finley’s bad and disorderly acts at its next meeting. Member town leaders usually have strong opinions on public urination. They don’t like it. It’s a public menace.

Finley, who is not in a rehabilitation facility, has so far declined to respond to questions posed in an email.