June 19, 2021


Beyond law

Lawmaker’s advocacy for ‘Jennifers’ Law’ intersects with her divorce

Passage of a invoice that broadens the definition of domestic violence to contain “coercive control” came soon after a debate dogged by suspicions that one particular of its provisions could possibly reward a Greenwich state senator who has designed coercive control a central assert in her divorce from a Wall Avenue govt.

The House of Reps voted overwhelmingly Friday evening to go Senate Invoice 1091, a measure dubbed “Jennifers’ Law” in memory of Jennifer Dulos, the mother of five who disappeared two years ago and is presumed lifeless. Struggling with a murder cost, her estranged spouse Fotis Dulos committed suicide.

Republicans attempted to rewrite the invoice with an modification that unsuccessful on an 89-52 straight get together-line vote, contacting it well-meant but flawed in its execution. The measure then passed on a 134-8 vote. The Senate experienced handed it, 35-1.

But during the Home debate, Republican opposition seemed animated by a matter no one broached specifically on the flooring: a suspicion that the productive day of the coercive command portion of the bill was accelerated at the demand of Sen. Alex Kasser, D-Greenwich, who is in the 3rd yr of a contentious divorce from Seth Bergstein, a senior Morgan Stanley government.

On Saturday, Rep. Tom O’Dea, R-New Canaan, acknowledged that was a worry amongst some Republicans, himself provided.

“My knowing is that the efficient day is moved back on her request from Oct. 1,” O’Dea stated. “And I’ve been told that could have an impact on her recent problem with her partner. And that brings about me concern, and I just hope which is not real.”

O’Dea, who ultimately voted for passage, would not say who advised him that the new definition of domestic violence may well benefit Kasser, whose divorce trial is envisioned this summer. Kasser, the sponsor of a comparable invoice merged into the one that passed Friday, declined to speak about any affect on her divorce or irrespective of whether she sought the change.

“Anyone who criticizes its powerful day have to be making an attempt to modify the matter,” Kasser stated. “Victims of domestic violence are harmed and killed every single working day. Creating the legislation productive straight away has no other purpose than to save life. Is anybody against that?”