Law firm hired to help Hartford’s financial woes

HARTFORD —  The city of Hartford has hired a new legal team to help with their finical crisis.

On Thursday, Hartford’s Mayor Luke Bronin, announced the hiring of law firm Greenberg Traurig, LLP, to provide legal services as the city evaluates the full range of restructuring options to ensure its long-term fiscal stability.

“Nancy Mitchell and the team at Greenberg Traurig have extensive experience in municipal restructuring, and they will be working with us to examine all options for putting the City of Hartford on a sustainable path,” said Mayor Bronin.  “Over the past eighteen months, we have made significant cuts and we continue to pursue aggressive changes in our labor contracts.  We have also advocated for a State budget that puts our cities in a position to be strong and vibrant, for the sake of Connecticut’s economic competitiveness.”

Bonin added “we will continue to work closely with our legislators as they work to adopt a responsible State budget.  In the meantime, as we start a new fiscal year without a State budget and with significant uncertainty, we will have the advice and counsel of an experienced and highly respected restructuring firm.”

“Given the fiscal issues facing our state and the fiscal cliff facing our city, we certainly understand the mayor’s administrative decision to engage municipal restructuring experts,” said City Council President Thomas “TJ” Clarke II. “While we continue to be hopeful that the state government will adopt a budget which provides Hartford with the necessary funding to provide for the health, safety, and welfare of our residents, as responsible stewards, we must carefully review all options.  In doing so, we will examine all available tools in a considered and thoughtful attempt to restructure city government working together as a team with our Mayor and administration.”

Nancy A. Mitchell, one of the co-chairs for the firm’s restructuring practice, will be main person in charge. Mitchell has more than 30 years of experience in the field.

“Greenberg Traurig is honored to have been asked by the City of Hartford to assist with its restructuring,” said Mitchell.  “Our team will use our exceptional understanding of both finance and government operations to provide quality legal services and guidance as Hartford seeks to get on sustainable financial footing.”

In May, city leaders took a step toward bankruptcy as they were looking into options and proposals from law firms that specialize in Chapter 9.

Mayor Bronin has hinted for months that Hartford could file for bankruptcy, and said during his budget release in April that he was “not in a position to rule anything out.”

Recently, Governor Dannel P. Malloy announced that due to legislative inaction on a budget to take effect at the start of the fiscal year, he has signed an executive order to ensure the continued, efficient operation of state government until a new, two-year state budget has been signed into law.