Fully a week after telling the Capitol press corps that state Department of Transportation Commissioner Joseph Marie resigned to: 1. Spend more time with his family and 2. Pursue other, fulltime employment; Gov. Rell is finally coming clean on what happened. The fact that it took a week to tell the truth and that she is caught on tape lying to Capitol press corps dean Steve Kotchco of the Connecticut Radio Network, speaks volumes about the soon-to-be-out-the-door administration.
Rell issued a statement after 5 pm yesterday, saying Marie’s resignation was sought after a complaint of “inappropriate behavior” was lodged against him. Rumors have swirled around the Capitol for weeks that there was a sexual harassment complaint against Marie out there.
Rell said the resignation came after “my office was contacted by a person representing a DOT employee who had alleged inappropriate behavior by the Commission…Legal counsel for the Governor’s Office conducted a preliminary inquiry into the allegation…No formal complaint of any kind was ever filed and no formal investigation was ever conducted…However, at the conclusion of the preliminary inquiry, Commissioner Marie was offered an opportunity to resign and he did so. He also signed a stipulated agreement that required him to return all state equipment, including computers, cell phones and cars; restricted his access to all state facilities; and barred him from contacting or criticizing any state employees or administration officials.”
Rell added, “I moved expeditiously in seeking this resignation—first and foremost, to end any alleged inappropriate and unacceptable behavior, and also to resolve the situation in a way that was respectful to the employee involved and all of the people affected, including innocent family members.”
What Rell didn’t do was move expeditiously to tell the truth to the people of the state who pay Marie’s salary and will continue to do so until the end of the month. The sad part is this is par for the course for this administration.
Radio listeners were treated this morning to a report by CRN’s Kotchco in which he asked her last week, point-blank whether there was more to the Marie story. On tape, she responded “no surprises.” No surprises, indeed. We’ve come to expect this from the governor.