SJC Changes Ricci Affiliation After Complaints From ConnectiCOSH

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July 15, 2009 11:46 a.m.

The witness list on the Senate Judiciary Committee web site has been changed to identify Frank Ricci as a member of the New Haven Fire Department following a complaint from the organization he claimed to represent.

Two board members of the Connecticut Council for Occupational Safety and Health sent a letter to Sen. Patrick Leahy explaining that Ricci is not, as he states in his bio, the director of fire services for the council. He had been identified as such in official witness lists for Sonia Sotomayor’s confirmation hearings.

“It made it appear as if he was speaking for ConnectiCOSH, which he does not,” said Judy Sanger, a board member, in a phone interview this afternoon. Sanger said the board doesn’t have a position on Sotomayor’s confirmation and has not discussed it.

“We’ve never talked about it, so it’s absurd to be claiming that you’re representing the occupational safety and health community. He’s not authorized to do it,” she said.

“We don’t want to be identified with” opposing Sotomayor, she said. “It’s not what we’re doing here.”

Sanger confirmed to us that Ricci is not and has never been an employee of, or spokesperson for, ConnectiCOSH. She said the council has “certainly worked with him over the years,” work including firefighter safety initiatives such as getting better rehab after injuries.

“We have no wish to deny the good things he has done,” Sanger said, but “he’s not speaking for ConnectiCOSH here.”

Ricci’s lawyer, Karen Torre, did not immediately return a call for comment.

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