An aide to one of the state's top Democrats has landed in trouble over a possible ethics violation:
House Speaker James Amann has suspended a top aide for using the Capitol's internal mail system to send political invitations that mistakenly ended up in the hands of Republicans.
Amann suspended Kelly Kirkley-Bey, the daughter of a deputy House speaker, for two weeks without pay Tuesday after two Republican legislators inadvertently received complimentary invitations to Amann's re-election fundraiser via inter-office mail at the state Capitol complex. The state delivery system is designed for governmental, rather than political, mail. (Keating)
Republicans, still smarting from the wounds inflicted upon them by the Lisa Moody hearings, are calling for hearings of their own.
Rep. Robert Farr, a member of the legislative committee holding the Moody hearings, said the Democrat-controlled committee should summon Kirkley-Bey to answer questions about the fund-raiser planned for July 20 at a restaurant in Amann's hometown of Milford.
"Let's get her in here and Amann's staff and talk about how they raise money," said Farr, a West Hartford Republican who is running for attorney general. "If the Democrats feel they have a conflict, Republicans can run the hearing. We'll be fair. ... If they're going to insist on having hearings on Republican issues, then we should have hearings on Democratic issues." (Keating)
Democrats responded by saying that Kirkley-Bey didn't violate election law, so no hearings are necessary or possible.
What bugs me here is that this only came to light because Kirkley-Bey mistakenly sent a few emails to Republicans, who pounced on her. What else is going on that we don't know about?
On the face of it, this seems like a violation that isn't quite as bad as Moody's original infraction. But I can't blame the Republicans for being angry.
Update: An anonymous posted has pointed out the CT News Junkie report that Kirkley-Bey has been in ethics and legal trouble before. Amann apparently gave her a warning about this sort of behavior when he hired her.
Keating, Christopher. "Amann Suspends Top Aide For Letter." Hartford Courant 13 July, 2006.