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Stephen Fournier

Fournier is a lifelong Hartford resident. He is a graduate of Hartford Public High School, as are all three of his children. He is married to the former Ruth Tomasko, of Manchester. The couple met at the University of Connecticut in Storrs. They dote on their four grandchildren, and Fournier often remarks that his political involvement is motivated by his concern for their future.

In 1995, Fournier was elected to the Hartford Board of Education. He served a portion of a four-year term, resigning in protest over corruption on the part of some of his fellow board members. Soon after his resignation, that board was dissolved by the Connecticut General Assembly because of gross mismanagement.

Throughout his years as an attorney, and from the time of his discharge in 1970 from the U.S. Air Force, where he served as a foreign language specialist, Fournier has been active in the antiwar movement and in the movement for social justice. This involvement drew him eventually to the candidacy of Ralph Nader in 1996 and to the Green Party, just then organizing in Connecticut. He served two terms as state Green Party co-chair and was the party's 2008 nominee for U. S. House of Representatives in the First District. Fournier sums up his candidacy as follows:

"Racketeers and their henchman govern us now, openly and without apology. The two major political parties are complicit, facilitating the rackets by trashing the Bill of Rights, undermining the rule of law, and effectively repealing all checks on government power, including the power to wage war and the power to poison the earth. Most recently, our leaders opened a passage to hell on our property under the Gulf of Mexico, and the accumulated filth of 100 million years now flows into our waters and our lives at a rate too rapid to comprehend.

"Our leaders have long since quit regulating the big, anti-national corporations that control public policy, resulting in the widespread abuse of workers, poor quality goods, mass export of jobs, declines in public health and personal quality of life, environmental pollution, the concentration of wealth in a few hands, and a failing economy. These problems can't be addressed until the people undertake the restoration of constitutional government. This candidacy--the candidate is a troublemaker and whistleblower--is an expression of urgency."

Admitted to the practice of law in 1978, Fournier has had diverse experience as an attorney. His first assignment was as Staff Attorney and Lecturer in Law in the University of Connecticut School of Law Criminal Clinic, where he supervised student attorneys in the representation of indigent defendants. He had been a student in the clinic and was invited by Professor Michael Sheldon to continue for a year as a member of the faculty.

From criminal law he moved in 1979 to a position as Assistant Corporation Counsel for the City of Hartford, under Attorney Hubert Santos, Corporation Counsel. Most of his duties involved the representation of the Tax Collector in lien foreclosures, but he was assigned to a number of other civil matters and handled miscellaneous real estate transactions for the City, as well.

Fournier's assignment with the City lasted until early 1981, when he opened his sole practice, also taking on a regular free-lance legal editing assignment with Business and Legal Reports, Inc. (BLR), then of Madison, Connecticut. BLR publishes compliance aids for business managers, and Fournier was responsible for creating and maintaining a line of products offering compliance assistance to environmental and work safety managers. He also served as BLR's general counsel, drafting documents and handling real estate matters.

Aside from his legal editing duties, Fournier's sole practice was general at first, including criminal defense, domestic relations, real estate, probate, bankruptcy, collections, and personal injury. In 1985, Fournier left BLR to devote full time to his law practice. Over the next several years, his focus narrowed somewhat, so that, by 1988, the practice focused principally on residential real estate. In 1988, the local real estate market collapsed, and Fournier's practice slowed to a crawl.

In 1990, he returned to BLR full-time and disengaged from his private law practice, continuing to function as BLR's general counsel. This time, the assignment was to a line of compliance products for personnel managers, and Fournier developed and improved that line as a legal editor and, later, as team leader and managing editor. He also took up computer programming during this period and helped develop a line of electronic compliance products for BLR, some of which are still in use.

Fournier left BLR after the company moved from Madison to Old Saybrook in 1998, but he continued free-lancing as a writer and editor, generating copy for several legal and business publishers. He underwent open-heart surgery in late 2001, and, in 2002, as part of his recovery from the surgery, he and his wife opened a restaurant in downtown Hartford. The restaurant wasn't successful, but Fournierís recovery from the surgery was, and Fournier closed the restaurant and resumed his real estate practice in 2004, devoting most of his efforts to refinancing transactions for various lenders.