MERIDEN — A Libertarian Party candidate has filed a lawsuit against Mayor Kevin Scarpati, claiming the mayor asked police to have him removed from the Daffodil Festival.
According to the suit, Daniel Reale of Plainfield, and two other Libertarian Party members were at the bridge near the entrance of the Daffodil Festival in Hubbard Park collecting ballot signatures on April 27 when a police lieutenant informed them they would have to leave.
The group was gathering signatures for Libertarian candidates to get on the state’s election ballot.
”No access to the festival was blocked or impeded, nor was any crime or disruption being committed,” according to the suit filed in Windham Superior Court in Putnam.
The suit says Reale, a candidate for the 2nd congressional district seat, learned from the police that the order to have him removed came from Scarpati.
The lawsuit mentions that representatives of the local Democratic and Republican parties were preparing and selling food at the festival as part of an annual fundraiser.
The city received the lawsuit on May 10 and referred it to the city’s insurance company. The company will decide if it will be referred to outside counsel, said City Attorney Debbie Moore.
Scarpati saw the petitioners at the park entrance near the shuttle bus area approaching festival goers as they arrived.
“”I didn’t know it was a political thing,” Scarpati said. “I just knew they didn’t have a right to be there. I felt there was no need to have someone at the entrance to the park approaching people and their families.”
Scapati checked with members of the police, the Parks Department and the Festival Committee before requesting that Reale and his associates leave.
Scarpati later saw a Tweet from Reale directed at him mentioning the Democrats and Republicans presence at the festival.
“The town committees paid to be food vendors,” he said.