February 28th, 2014 | City

Former mayoral candidate resigns from short term in city hall

Sundiata Keitazulu — the storied New Haven plumber who briefly joined the mayoral race last year — resigned Wednesday from his post as the city’s prison re-entry coordinator. He was named to the $50,000-per-year post, working on programs to help the incarcerated adjust back into society, by Mayor Toni Harp last December.

“I could not do the job that I was assigned to do,” Keitazulu told the New Haven Independent. He said of Jason Bartlett, the city’s youth services director who was overseeing him, “He put me in the dog house.”

Keitazulu added that he was forced to attend job training at the New Haven Family Alliance. Ultimately, the city was not willing to invest enough resources in the programs he wanted to roll out, according to Keitazulu. He was told Wednesday he could either quit or be fired, he said. He chose to leave of his own accord and has plans to start a venture of his own, the “Keitazulu Re-entry Prevention Program.”

Harp told the Independent the mayor’s office remains committed to re-entry and will initiate a search to fill the now-vacant position.