National Religious Freedom Group Calls for Dismissal of Connecticut State Ethics Office Chief for Harassing the Catholic Church
The national advocacy group In God We Trust today called on Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal to dismiss the head of the state's Ethics Office, Carol Carson, over the her office's harassment of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Bridgeport. Carson's office claimed the church violated state lobbying laws by busing supporters to a rally protesting a controversial bill before the Connecticut state legislature. The proposed law would have allowed the state government to regulate the governing structure of the church. The bill was withdrawn in the face of public pressure. Last week Carson's office reluctantly agreed to drop its investigation of the church after Connecticut's Attorney General warned that the state would likely lose a lawsuit filed against it by the Diocese.
"The Connecticut state ethics office is out of control. It attempted to use its power to regulate and infringe on the rights of the Catholic church and the people of Connecticut to exercise their first amendments rights," says Bishop Council Nedd, In God We Trust's Chairman. "It is right for the office to drop its investigation, but it should never have gone after the church in the first place. This is clearly a case of power-crazed bureaucrats run amok. Anyone who would even consider using the power of the state to try to intimidate a church should not be working in government. Carol Carson and Ethics Enforcement Officer Thomas K. Jones, who was in charge of this investigation, must be fired," he says.