GOP appeals ruling in Bysiewicz case

The Connecticut Republican Party intends to appeal a Superior Court judge’s ruling that Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz has 10 years experience in the “active practice” of law, the statutory minimum to serve as attorney general, her lawyer said today.

“The Republican Party is trying to cast doubt over my candidacy as we prepare for the Democratic State Convention and this appeal is another desperate and deliberate attempt to keep me off the ballot,” Bysiewicz said in an emailed statement.

Republican State Chairman Chris Healy and his lawyer, Eliot Gersten, could not immediately be reached for comment.

“Last week, after hearing all the evidence, Judge [Michael] Sheldon determined that I meet the qualifications to run for and serve as Connecticut’s attorney general,” Bysiewicz wrote today. “We won on the merits of the case and I am confident that we will win again at the appellate level. The appellate court will see through this blatant political maneuver just as the trial court did.”

Daniel Krisch, who is representing Bysiewicz, said he will seek to have the appeal immediately transferred from the Appellate to the Supreme Court for an expedited appeal “so it can be resolved before the convention.”

The Democratic state convention is May 22. She and former Senate Majority Leader George Jepsen are seeking the convention endorsement. Rep. Cameron Staples, D-New Haven, dropped out of the race today.

Bysiewicz sued her own office to seek a declaratory ruling that her service as secretary of the state constituted the practice of law. Without credit for some of her years in office, she would fall short of the minimum 10 years.