Connecticut city weighs changing Manafort street name

FILE - In this May 23, 2018, file photo, Paul Manafort, President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman, leaves Federal District Court after a hearing in Washington. The New Britain, Conn., city council is expected to take up a proposal Wednesday evening, Sept. 26 to change the name of a street that honors his father, the city's former three-term Mayor Paul Manafort Sr. Eight members of the Manafort family have signed a letter urging the council to keep the name honoring the patriarch. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana, File)

NEW BRITAIN, Conn. (AP) — A Connecticut city is considering whether to change the name of a street that honors the father of Paul Manafort.

The Republican mayor of New Britain last month changed the name of Paul Manafort Drive to Paul Manafort Sr. Drive, clarifying that it refers to the three-term mayor of the central Connecticut city and not his son, the former chairman of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign who has been convicted of financial crimes.

But Democrats on the city council say the name draws attention to scandals surrounding Manafort and have proposed doing away with it altogether. The council is expected to take up a proposal Wednesday to name the road instead for Ebenezer D.C. Bassett, an African-American 19th century educator and diplomat.

In a letter urging the council to keep the name, eight members of the Manafort family said Paul Manafort Jr. has lived in Washington, D.C., for over 40 years and his problems do not have anything to do with the legacy of their patriarch.

“The Manafort family is very saddened and disappointed to learn of this potential action by the city which has been home to generations of our family for over 100 years,” the family members wrote.

“Paul Sr. was the tough, gritty, and hardworking son of Italian immigrant parents, whose life was shaped by his roots in the city of New Britain.”

The family members wrote that Paul Manafort Sr., a businessman who died in 2013, deserves the honor that was granted by the street name in 1994 because of his service as a mayor, state public works commissioner, World War II veteran and philanthropist.

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