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Former US Attorney Stan Twardy says his investigation of state Speaker of the House Chris Donovan’s congressional campaign shows the speaker had no knowledge of alleged illegal fundraising by his finance chairman and that there was no any quid pro quid involving proposed legislation. The investigation hardly satisfies his critics who point out Twardy didn’t have access to key players in the alleged scheme.
The findings are reassuring to the Donovan yet they raise yet another question: Is someone so disconnected to the top people in his own campaign be an effective congressman? Donovan’s potential opponent Republican-party endorsed candidate state Sen. Andrew Roraback says, “Either he knew of the alleged activity, in which case that makes him unfit as a candidate, or he didn’t know. In which case that calls into question the manner in which he is running his campaign,” Others were harsher.
Democratic rival Dan Roberti focused on the fact that Twardy couldn’t interview the people central to the whole investigation. “[K]ey Donovan staff members could not be interviewed on advice of their attorneys. Also…It must also be noted that this investigation is being paid for by Chris Donovan or his campaign, thus questions can be raised about the impartiality of the findings. Moreover, Chris Donovan was not available today to make his own statement or supplement the information provided by Mr. Twardy,” The third Democrat in the August 14th primary, Elizabeth Esty, had no comment.
Republican candidate Mark Greenberg pulled no punches. “By Mr. Twardy’s own admission, his report is incomplete and it leaves many questions unanswered,” Greenberg told the Hartford Courant. “Much of the important relevant information was not forthcoming, and the investigation was hampered by the inability of Mr. Twardy to interview or receive documents from the principles in this scandal. People who commit crimes are not often reckless enough to leave a paper or email trail…Unfortunately, the cloud of this campaign finance scandal will continue to hang over Donovan’s campaign until the federal investigation is conclude.” Harsh indeed.
By hiring Twardy, the Donovan campaign put itself in a no-win situation. Did anyone think Twardy would come back with any other finding than clearing Donovan? And even if the speaker is innocent, he put himself in a no-win situation by hiring Twardy as the (Torrington) Register Citizen opined. Then again, not conducting an internal investigation may have been worse. It remains to be seen how it all plays out.