CT chief public defender under fire following accusations of bullying, insubordination

A hearing was held on Tuesday regarding the claims against TaShun Bowden-Lewis.

Robyn Karashik and John Craven

Apr 16, 2024, 8:53 PM

Updated 32 days ago


Connecticut’s chief public defender, TaShun Bowden-Lewis, fought to keep her job in a Hartford hearing on Tuesday after being accused of bullying, insubordination and "unfounded" discrimination claims.
"I am not perfect. I have never purposely tried to offend anyone. And if I have offended anyone, I do apologize,” said Bowden-Lewis.
Bowden-Lewis was placed on leave in February by the Public Defender Services Commission. The commission released a formal report of their charges against her, claiming she has been dishonest, insubordinate, accessed private emails of employees, interfered with FOIA requests and has mistreated several employees.
Bowden-Lewis denied the claims when asked about going into employees’ emails.
"Do you think it's appropriate for you to go into somebody's email because you don't like them, and you're looking for something adverse to them, so that you can embarrass them?" asked commission chair Richard Palmer, a retired Connecticut Supreme Court justice.
"That didn't happen,” said Bowden-Lewis.
Following Tuesday’s hearing, the commission will decide whether to remove her from office. Thomas W. Bucci, Bowden-Lewis' lawyer, said the investigation was one-sided and has violated her due process rights.
The commission did not take a vote on Bowden-Lewis' removal on Tuesday. Her attorney asked for more time to decide whether to call witnesses.
The full report of charges can be found below: 

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