Just Call Him “Slummy Joe”
You can add slumlord to Joe Lieberman’s list of job descriptions:
At the end of the street was a big pile of trash. A lot, listed on city of Stamford’s tax-assessors office as 0 Henry Street, was partially paved with dirty mattresses, and two Latino laborers sat in the lot dolefully, at the end of a late-summer afternoon, surrounded by crushed beer cans and other trash.
Asked where they lived, the young fellows pointed to the boarded-up multi-family unit at 3 Henry. They were squatting in a property owned by the estate of the late Bernard Manger, whose co-executor is none other than his nephew, Senator Joseph I. Lieberman.
Lieberman, the favorite nephew of Bernard’s and the junior senator from Connecticut, moved back to his hometown of Stamford earlier this year and now lives in a condo across from a school he attended as a Stamford youth. When his uncle died in 1995, Lieberman was named as co-executor of the estate with family attorney Harold Bernstein; he’s paid about $25,000 a year for his trusteeship duties.
Given Lieberman’s status and influence, it’s fair to ask some questions about not only the timing of the deal, but the overall context within which it was made. Even if Lieberman himself is not a beneficiary from this sale, his extended family is. And this deal was made within the same time period that the Stamford Urban Transitway plan now being implemented in the South End kicked off; that transportation-infrastructure-improvement project launched in 2003 and the senator has helped it along through his efforts in securing federal transportation earmarks.
Joe has done so much to help George Bush usher in a new gilded age, why shouldn’t he enjoy the fruits of it?