The first selectman counters that the complaint is simply a political ploy. A downloadable pdf copy of the complaint is included with this article.
The complaints were filed by Democratic Registrar of Voters Susan Koneff and Alan Vaglivelo, a Board of Education member.
Nick Kapoor, chairman of the Monroe Democratic Town Committee, said, "I do not know the particular statute that would be applicable, however it seems extremely unethical and inappropriate for any elected official, let alone the Chief Elected Official of a municipality, to solicit funds from an employee of the municipality."
In the complaint, Koneff said she received a request for a donation to Vavrek's campaign to her town email on July 25 and two emails to her personal email address on July 25 and Aug. 14.
Vaglivelo said he received a Vavrek campaign email to his town email account on July 25.
Vavrek released this statement to the media on Monday: "I've never used Town resources for campaign purposes, but it should be no surprise that the Democratic Registrar of Voters would make such an accusation two months before the election."
Jeff Guttman, the RepublicanTown Committee chairman, also does not see any merit in the SEEC complaint.
"I just think that they're wasting a lot of people's time," Guttman said Monday morning. "It's just more time and money interrupting people's jobs with complaints like this that have no merit and no meaning."
Guttman said he believes Koneff and Vaglivelo may have signed up on Republican lists in the past to get information and that Vavrek's campaign worked off those same lists for its email distribution.
"I truly, in my heart, don't think Steve Vavrek would send them stuff and play games like that," he said. "They obviously signed up
for something with their monroeps.org and ct.org emails."
Making Their Case
In the complaint, Koneff wrote: "I have never provided my email address to Mr. Vavrek for campaign purposes. I have communicated with Mr. Vavrek using my home email address for Town business purposes and my home email address is registered on the Town of Monroe listserv database for Town of Monroe communications. I signed up for the listserv in order to receive notification about events and information pertaining to the Town, not for the First Selectman's political use."
Among Vaglivelo's comments in the complaint, he wrote, "I believe that Mr. Vavrek has deliberately misused my Town email for his own political purposes. While he may state that his campaign is at fault, I contend that since he provided the email addresses to his campaign he is at fault. This misuse appears to me to be unethical and may in fact be a violation of state statute."
When reached for comment, Dan Hunsberger, Vavrek's Democratic challenger, recalled a past Freedom of Information request in which Democrats sought the email subscriber list for the first selectman's listserv. Vavrek expressed concern over subscribers' privacy.
"This is an example of what my campaign is about — better management," Hunsberger said. "I want to make sure situations like that don't happen," he added of the SEEC complaint. "We all make mistakes, but using town resources, I think that could have been avoided."
Hunsberger accused Vavrek's administration of a pattern of avoidable errors.
Using the recent town purchase of 42 computers as an example, Hunsberger said, "Certainly someone had to know that was coming during the budget process. We should have started planning. These things are avoidable. Something like Chalk Hill is not."