Friday, March 17, 2006

Patterns of Impropriety

Rell Campaign Manager Kept Informed of Investigation Status

If anyone's paying attention, this is starting to look like a pattern of abuse:

The state's top elections enforcement officer gave Gov. M. Jodi Rell's campaign manager confidential information and let him act as a go-between last month during efforts to settle charges of fundraising violations by top Rell administration officials, The Courant has learned.

In a Feb. 10 e-mail, elections enforcement Director Jeffrey B. Garfield sent Rell campaign manager Kevin Deneen a copy of a proposed settlement with 16 commissioners and deputy commissioners accused of illegally soliciting money for Rell. He assured Deneen the Rell officials were being given "the full benefit of all doubt." (Lender & Mahoney)

While I still don't think the governor is actually involved in any of this, it's obvious that the sort of insider culture that turned a blind eye to widespread abuses during the Rowland Administration is still alive and well.

I would love to see the governor do more than simply shake her finger at the offending parties. She could, for example, actually fire someone. However, I doubt that she will. Instead, the frowning of a lifetime will be delievered. Very traumatic, I'm sure, but in the end nothing will change. These little violations that bend the rules but aren't quite bad enough to break the law will continue, and the perpetrators will get off with a small fine, a wink, and a pat on the back.

The public, of course, will remain blissfully unaware.

Source

Lender, Jon and Edmund H. Mahoney. "Rell Aide Got Inside Information." Hartford Courant 17 March, 2006.

51 comments:

Anonymous said...

Genghis, since you are not a lawyer I will give you the benefit of the doubt that you have no clue how settlement negotiations are held.

Perhaps it would be more useful to ascertain how Bob Matthews had his tax assessments in New Haven cut in half during the DeStefano years. That,at least, cost real people real money.

Blue in CD2 said...

Time to wake up and smell the ethical improprieties of this Administration Connecticut.

The ethical environment that allows this "pattern of abuse" began with the Rowland Administration and will continue as long as that Administration continues with the surrogate Grandmother Rell.

I smell an increase in poll numbers for Rell.

I am convinced that the State of CT resides in the 'Bizzaro' World.

Franks said...

Mr. Deneen was not representing anyone before the SEC and was no more entitled to information about the SEC's investigation than any other person.

Garfield's "private" meetings with Moody, will probably invite legislative committee review.

Can Rell's administration ever spell ETHICS.

Aldon Hynes said...

I must admit, I’m not a lawyer either, nor, do I suspect are Jon Lender or Edmund Mahoney. However, my father in law is a retired treasury agent, and I can imagine situations where an officer would negotiate with a third party to reach an agreement on a plea bargain.

I do believe the deal was beneficial to the Rell administration, and I believe that it makes sense for the Courant and for this blog to talk about it. Likewise, I think it beneficial for the press and the blogs to look very closely at deals with developers, whether you are talking about Fort Trumbull in New London, development plans around financial companies in Stamford, plans around a major cancer center in New Haven, or various deals that Bob Matthews has struck with the Rowland/Rell administration or the DeStefano administration.

I applaud the efforts of this blog, the Hartford Courant, the New Haven Independent and New Haven Advocate for their efforts in these topics. If you follow the media closely, you will see that the dealings of both the DeStefano and Malloy administrations have gotten a lot of scrutiny. When and if the Rell administration gets the same sort of scrutiny more people will begin to wonder if she is simply inept or complicit.

Anonymous said...

Excuse me? Why do you need to be a lawyer to understand ethical improprieties? Can anybody say jet ski and the CT State Police?

Anonymous said...

Aldon,
It's good to hear from you--been on vacay?

Is it just me or have both dem gubernatorial campaigns been lying low the past week or so.

Don't let Lamont steal your fire!

Anonymous said...

Jet Ski and the Hartford police?

What was that? Can someone please clue me in? Thanks.

Anonymous said...

The error/"mistake" was Garfield's. If the Hartford Courant can't find a way to directly correlate impropriety on the part of Rell/Dineen....then there simply is none

reddick said...

Aldon; you left out the back room development deal with eminent domain and everything that your Democrat friends cut in Fairfield
shown here.

reddick said...

Here it is

reddick said...

And now that you have read it, what Flatto's sychophant, Stratford democrat and Ffld Economic Development Directormark Barnhart leaves out of the statement For its part, the developer is obligated to demolish the existing structures, to construct an access road through the site and to build a commuter waiting area building. Under the agreement, Blackrock Realty would have development rights to construct up to 930,000 square feet of commercial office, hotel and ancillary retail space.
is that the developer, the LLC really whose only asset is the land and whose investors are unknown to the public, got a $4 million dollar loan from Art Diedrich's CDA that he doesn't have to pay back - the town must pay it back to the CDA with the first four million dollars of property taxes it collectc form the LLC if it ever does since the LLC has the right to construct all that stuff but absolutley no obligation to do so.

There is a sucker born every minute and many of them find their way to Fairfield town government.

turfgrrl said...

Chris Shays, once again sending tax payer money everywhere else but Fairfield County.

H.AMDT.706 to H.R.4939 Amendment designates $10 million of economic support funds for the Community Action Program in Iraq.
Sponsor: Rep Shays, Christopher [CT-4] (introduced 3/15/2006) Cosponsors (None)

Brian Durand said...

I agree with Aldon that the important thing here is that questions are being asked and that we're all concerned about this. So often in CT we decry the corruption that we've unfortunately become known for, but then become complacent when it may be right there under our noses.

We should continue asking questions until we know what all the facts are.

By the way, Dan Malloy's release and statement can be found here.

bluecoat said...

If it weren't for the chance of getting shot at or blown up, I'd drive on an Iraq highway in a minute before I'd drive on CT's third world infrastructure.

And I thought Iraq oil was going to pay to rebuild whatever Tommy Franks blew up on his wayward way to Baghdad

reddick said...

And the irony of the Fairfield deal is that it is in earshot of where Michael Wolf's FBI had their surveillance station set up to listen in on the Lenoci's, Ganims and Pinto gangss of Bridgeport corruption. Anybody around town knew what was going on with the Jersey plates parked in odd places at odd times. The Ganim bust was an easy one because the gang was stupid.

bluecoat said...

If I read the Courant article correctly Rell's campaign manager acted as an intermediary between Garfield and the three attorneys that represented the offending Rell Commissioners. The remaining question is did Garfield seek him out or did the campaign manager offer up his services to Garfield in order that Jodi could say let's move forward beyond this unfortunate incident.? I kinda read that it was the latter. This is anything but squeakey clean. Will it bother the public at large? I doubt it.

Anonymous said...

It took Ken Dixon and the CT Post a long time to turn on Rowland but in this opine from last Sunday it would appear they might take Rell on about her sly dealings more than they did with Rowland their wonderboy.

Anonymous said...

I thought the Malloy release was dead on with its questions. They're ones we ALL should be asking: "Who told Rell's campaign manager to act as a go-between with investigators? Governor Rell herself? Governor Rell's Chief of Staff Lisa Moody? What did Governor Rell know and when did she know it? Is this a continuation of a theme from Governor Rell's decade with John Rowland where she knew nothing about the widespread corruption, and, more recently, when she claimed to know nothing about her chief of staff's misdealings with regard to fundraising? If all of these people are doing improper things right under Governor Rell's nose, who is actually running the State? These are fair and important questions that need to be asked"

Anonymous said...

Bloggers: Let's not let the Rell story die. Send Emails. Tell people offline. Raise doubts. This is not the open, scandal-free state government she promised us. The media is giving her a free ride for the same reason they gave Bush a pass leading up to the Iraq war: high approval ratings and fear of being branded with the liberal media bias myth. Don't let this die.

Former McCain Fan said...

Is it just me, or is it ironic that this story broke on the day that John McCain came to town to campaign for Rell?

How can he hold himself out as a bastion of clean government and ethics reform, then come to CT to campaign for the woman who lets her staff run roughshod over the ethics laws, and vetoes THREE TIMES the legislature's attempt to pass real contracting reform?

McCain should be ashamed of himself.

Anonymous said...

Once upon a time Mike Bergin of Waterbury was charged with corruption and was acquitted.

He then was returned to office against the then indicted Joe Santopietro on the basis "Mike Bergin was cleared in court"

Reading Dannel (yes I do hire city contractors to build my house but Morano didn't indict me) Malloy demand an investigation of Garfield proves he is a quantum leap of chuzpah ahead of Bergin, who was no shrinking violet in that department.

BY the way, is Malloy's house made of glass?

Anonymous said...

The question isn't what did Rell, Moody or anyone else know about Dineen.

The question of impropriety rests with Garfield.

He is both the General Councel and Executive Director of SEEC. He's done this hundred's of times, and should, I hope, know what is right and wrong.

He needs to explain his actions?

I wonder of Caruso will issue rake his poster boy buddy over the coals?

Anonymous said...

you mean the same Chris Caruso who played "see no evil" when his fellow Bridgeport Democrats spent a decade plundering the city...yeah, right

Caruso needs a 12 step program for withdrawal from Rowland obsession

route 34 said...

route 34,

I have friends who heard Malloy speak last night in Farmington, and I heard he came off extremely defensive. He came out and said things like "you have a "3X greaer chance of getting assaulted in New Haven than you do in Stamford." Is he serious??? He doesn't want to go into numbers regarding the drop in crime in New Haven since DeStefano has become mayor. The reality is, there would have been a 10X greater chance of getting assaulted in New Haven than in Stamford a decade ago. Anyone that lives in or around New Haven knows that.

This shows he is getting a little desparate. 10 years ago, there were 2 murders in Stamford--last year there was 1. You cannot compare the statistic that 10 years ago there were 30 or so murders, and last year there were 15. Malloy saying that Stamford is a safer town than New Haven sounds a lot like the kid that is bourne on 3rd base and says he hit a triple. Stamford was a safe city before he was mayor, and it will be a safe city after he's gone. People that know Stamford understand that. That is why he only carried 51% of the vote in last year's mayoral.

Anonymous said...

Did the devil tell Deneen that he should take the information from Garfinkle and run with it or was it simply a gift from God? the former FBI agent that runs the DOT's administrative branch these days told Korta to get lost when he asked him to Marco Polo. Deneen could have told Korta he would not be the intermediary. It takes tow to tango and even more than that to cluster f--k.

As for McCain, he has no idea what the contetns of CT's CFR legislation is. He was here to test the 2008 waters in a blue state. he mostly spoke his own issues.

Anonymous said...

Am I missing something here? The story says Deneen only talked to the lawyers?

Anonymous said...

Deneen could have told Korta's attorney or Garfinkel that he would not be the intermediary.

It's a cirlcle jerk with Morano, Moody, Denneen and now Garfinkel among others taking turns at the wheel.

Anonymous said...

this has all the marks of a story Michelle Jacklin wrote to embarass Rell the day McCain hit town. She just got her old buddies at the Courant to run it

BTW, re "circle jerk", it wasnt oh so long ago Morano was a brilliant public servant for not charging Dannel Malloy about his city contractor deals ....or that Mr. Garfield had the temerity to fine the campaign of St. John DeStefano for its lapses of judgment.

Anonymous said...

Former McCain Fan said...
Is it just me, or is it ironic that this story broke on the day that John McCain came to town to campaign for Rell?

How can he hold himself out as a bastion of clean government and ethics reform, then come to CT to campaign for the woman who lets her staff run roughshod over the ethics laws, and vetoes THREE TIMES the legislature's attempt to pass real contracting reform


When did the legislature try to pass real contracting reform. All I have seen this session is legislation to protect the state employee unions. Let's not confuse ethical lapses with ethical lapses.

Brass Anon said...

I am a lawyer, and I have had clients who have gotten into trouble with Mr. Garfield and the Elections Commission. And guess what, nobody from the Elections Commission, not to mention Mr. Garfield, ever got in touch with me to give my clients "the benefit of the doubt," or to make sure I was comfortable with the fine.
Instead, my clients got hit with a $500 fine for not putting the "paid for by" disclaimer at the bottom of an ad.

This Deneen/Garfield/Rell issue is not a minor thing. It is the Governor's office misusing its power, plain and simple. The average person would never get the "benefit of the doubt," but Rell's people did. That is corruption and it is wrong and Connecticut should not stand for it.

It seems to me that the GOP has been entrenched in Hartford for far too long, and when that happens, with any party, corruption starts to happen.

It is a cliche, but it is time to throw the bums out. We need new legislative leadership, and we need a new governor and I don't care if it is DeStefano, or Malloy, or Tim Stewart or Mark Boughton, but the corruption cannot continue.

Brass Anon said...

You can't even begin to compare corrupt Waterbury politicians to Dan Malloy.

While Bergin was cleared of corruption, it is only because his chief of staff took the hit for accepting envelopes filled with cash. Bergin hired Hugh Keefe to get himself acquitted.

Malloy hired no counsel during the investigation. He cooperated voluntarily. Is that what a guilty man does?

Malloy is the only politician in the history of Connecticut to undergo a complete investigation and be completely exonerated. He is certifiably clean.

Let's see Rell or DeStefano undergo the same scrutiny.

Anonymous said...

to paraphrase Brass Anon ...

This Deneen/Garfield/Rell issue is not a minor thing. It is the Governor's office misusing its power, plain and simple. The average person would never get the "benefit of the doubt," but Rell's people did. That is corruption and it is wrong and Connecticut should not stand for it.

It seems to me that the GOP has been entrenched in Hartford for far too long, and when that happens, with any party, corruption starts to happen.

It is a cliche, but it is time to throw the bums out.
agreed,

and continuing to paraphrase We need new legislative leadership, and we need a new governor, whoops? Are you saying that we need Malloy or DeStefano and the end of Ammann and williams too??

Anonymous said...

Rell's policies were to be that she would demand better than the fine points of election law. And I never heard anybody but the John Rowland crowd say that Morano was some kind of brilliant public servant.

Speaking of a cluster f--k,Here is Diane Farrell holding one with Bridgeport's Fabrizi, Stamford's Malloy, Fairfield's Flatto and Trumbull's Baldwin on port security. Flatto can't get the traffic situation squared away in his business districts, Malloy has been bickering with the cops' union over how to staff a QRT unit and Trumbull only just started issuing standard sidearms to its police officers a few years ago. Security experts???

Anonymous said...

Brass, I'm happy Malloy got cleared, but tell me this doesn't need to be explained.

"Some of the contractors who worked on Malloy's house in the wealthy Shippan section of Stamford won city work through bid waivers. Malloy said he had nothing to do with selecting the contractors, but as mayor he does sign bid waivers.

Alex Ferrara, an excavator who worked on Malloy's house, has said he was assured by the mayor's brother, Kevin, that the city would lower his back taxes if he agreed to cut the $25,000 bill by almost half. Ferrara and city officials said the tax relief never came through.

Malloy said he was unaware of any conversation with his brother and Ferrara, while his brother has not returned calls for comment.

Malloy, 49, said he struggled to pay for the major house renovation but received a windfall from his former law firm and later sold land to a police commissioner he appointed."

AP story 5/5/05

for the Malloy camp to scream about the Marco Polo mess seems to show a lot of arrogance, but then again, Roy "O" is running the show

Anonymous said...

Anon 3:12, you should adress your questions to Morano and at the same time you might want to ask him to explain why he couldn'y get a judge to sign an arrest warrant for Rowland, who gave Morano his job, when Rowland as 'department head' of CT state government had clearly violated state law. Then after that ask the CT State Police to explain the convenient burial of the jet ski investigation.

This stuff has nothing to do with political parties as the only party in CT is the incumbent party but you can keep making it about the Democrats and your party's representation in Hartford will keep getting smaller.

maybenotken'sfriend said...

I'm angry at Mr. Flatto. He said that Bridgeport would be better because of the new Metro North Center and now I look at our Economic Development Commission thanks to bluecoat's post up there and I see names of people who own propery in town and will make money form their decisions and influence. None of these people were elected to these positions that I remember voting for. I don't know how this happens. I thought everything is on the up and up in town but apparently not. I hope all this talk of cleaning up government makes it's way to Fairfield. I live in Rep. Tom Drew's district and now I see his campaign Treasurer from your blog
Sigmar Schoenhorn, Treasurer
is the same man who moved to Bridgeport and tried to cast an absentee ballot for Mr. Flatto when he no longer lived in Fairfield but got caught with his wife trying too. I'm really glad you have this blog to expose all this. Judy Boos and Richard Gribko who know everything that goes on in town told me this was good but I don't beleive them now. They tore up that island on Grasmere and put up orange cones and now I don't know what they are going to do about all the traffic we keep getting because of all the building Mr. Lenoci and Cerruzzi keep getting approved. I should have known better when I saw that John Fallon was the attorney handling this project because he is always pushing bad projects down the town board's throats.

Sorry for the rant but I wanted to get everything off my chest and this seemed lieka good place to do it.

Anonymous said...

well, you make my point. Morano is a hero to you guys when he clears Democrats and an idiot when he doesn't chase Republicans with the vigor of Kenneth Starr.

Perhaps someone can explain the ethics of what malloy was charged with. I'll accept it was legal, but if he (and the Democrat party as a whole) wants to hols others to a higher standard, well frnakly he didn't hold himself to one...paying for a mansion by selling land to a commissioner you appointed?

(hello, Bob, I;ve got a condo in DC I need to unload)

methinks Roy O just pulled a Cheney on his own candidate with this one

Anonymous said...

for you meathead legislative aide, it is about the outcome but for many of us it is about good government and we'll never get that with Team Rowland still frimly in place. And just to let you know there meathead, I'd never vote for Malloy or DeStefano. The best thing I saw on this blog about the gubernatorial race was that Rell would not finish her term if she won so I am looking rreal hard at who emerges as LG.

Anonymous said...

route 34,

Crime has dropped over 60% in Stamford under Malloy. So, you're wrong. End of story there.

Regarding his investigation. It seems to me that the biggest thing riling some people up is that people who worked on his house did work for the city down the road. How is this AT ALL questionable? What do you guys propose, a law that says once you do private work for an elected official you can never work for the city or government in the area he serves ever again? Makes a lot of sense.

Anonymous said...

Interesting comments about New Haven vs. Stamford crime stats. One point that is missing: Stamford reports its crime stats to the FBI, and has been designated as one of the top 10 safest cities in the U.S. for the past three years. New Haven chooses not to report its stats, so its anyone's guess -- and obviously no comparison can be made, as to where the city ranks on crime vs. other cities of comparable populations. Leads one to surmise that depsite all the spin from DeStefano fans, the city of New Haven has little to nothing to be proud of on the public safety, or should I say lack thereof, front.

TrueBlueCT said...

Brilliant! "One of us is not like the others.."

Here's an exercise, make a list of CT's impoverished cities-- Hartford, New Haven, Bridgeport, Waterbury, New Britain, New London.

What, no Stamford on that list?

Stamford's low crime rate is all about impossibly high rents that have effectively chased out poverty. We all know that.

Negative kudos to Dan Malloy in his desperation. It's apples and oranges.

and ANON-5:47:
Are you a liar, or just plain stupid?

Every last person in New Haven will testify how much better New Haven has become under DeStefano's 12-year reign.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Reiner, hasn;t Ahhnuld fired you yet for screwed up your initiatives in California?

(I love people whose minds are so small they have but one putdown)

TBC: if "everyone" in New haven thinks the city got so wonderful under DeStefano why was Looney's primary such a relative success...he got what 41% of the vote?

Obviously a large number of New Havenites begged to differ

bcmule said...

Its amazing how Little Miss Jodie Muffet sits idly by while all those around her are doing what has been going on for years. Either she's as guilty as they are, or she has no clue what her subordinates are doing. Which is it, ineffective supervisor or guilty accomplice? Its time we send a message and levy a hefty fine, because that's the only punishment they understand.

TrueBlueCT said...

ANON6:52:

Please, answer me this. If DeStefano won against Looney with 62% of the vote, (as reported by the newspapers), how on earth did Looney get more than 40%?

And for the record, a vote for the well-known State Senator did not equal a belief that the city hadn't been well run by DeStefano.

Your logic is as faulty as your facts.

Anonymous said...

jeez I'm three points off about an old election ....send Morano after me.

Frankly, that's closer than most Zogby polls have been lately

If NH was so well run there would have been no primary. Someone was unhappy with the incumbent and even 38% (which is about what Pat Buchanan got in NH against Bush sr. in 1992 )is a lot of unhappiness

Captain Mike said...

TrueBlueCT,

That anon wasn't lying. New Haven does not share it's crime statistics with the FBI. I have no idea why, but personally it doesn't do much for my faith in King John.

As far as Stamford goes, I am from the area and worked there for a few years. Anyone who says that Stamford was never in rough shape is either lying or just doesn't remember. Wether you like Malloy or not, there has been a huge change there under him, for the better.

DeanFan84 said...

Sure Stamford was in rough shape.

But how much poverty was chased out of the city due to a resurgent rental market?

I still say it is apples and oranges. Stamford resembles Princeton, NJ more than it does a Brigeport, Hartford or New Haven.

Anonymous said...

In the broken clock dept, gotta agree with DF.

Stamford in the early 1990's had a depressed real estate market. It has gotten much more yuppified since. Actually a lot of ethnic middle class families with Republican sympathies also got priced out of town, many moved to the north county or even into NH County

bluecoat said...

'maybenotken's friend' gives me credit for keeping the challenge to the hypocrasy of Fairfield eminent domain deal alive but it is 'reddick' doing that. Either the state traffic commission will do its job right and deny the application or the anti-eminent domain town representatives (namely Stone and Tymniak) will come clean on this and oppose it or it will continue down the path of disaster.

There was an article in the Fairfield Minuteman a few days ago where Flatto of fairfield said that Bridgeport was trying to block the project because they were "jealous" that he was getting the project. Everything that Shays said was wrong with his district in doing economic development in the recent past when he gave Bruhl and McGee a million dollar federal grant to fix what was wrong is epitomed in this deal but nobody wants to come clean.

bluecoat said...

Stamford had a lot of state money dumped in to it. Without it how well do you really think Malloy would do? Here is another post from the CT Post on how Malloy and DeStefano size things up from a debate they had in Westport over the weekend.

bluecoat said...

Here is another article on the same Westport debate from the Norwalk Advocate that is alittle more in depth and balanced. What is still missing from all three gubernatorial candididates is talk on how to lower the unusually high cost of CT government. Whether it is the CT State Police with a fleet of fully outfitted cuisers twice the size that is needed to do the job while still leaving the major highways in the state unpatrolled because of union rules and mismanagement, or a DCF that regularly sees children in its custody injured or dead, or the higher education department (UCONN) that slaps up dormitories in willful violation of the building code or the DOT that hasn'r designed a modern highway in fifty years, CT state govt. is rife with waste, fraud and abuse thanks to a longstanding laissez-faire attitude at the executive, judicial and legislative branches of government.