Last Sunday, the Hartford Courant’s Jon Lender wrote a fascinating piece about the Rell administration wasting federal stimulus money by planning and developing an energy-efficiency upgrade on the governor’s mansion in Hartford, only to suddenly halt the project. No acceptable explanation was given (The Shad is not sure what’s worse—giving no explanation to the people of the state or giving a completely false one only to come clean a week later like in the case of Department of Transportation Commissioner Joseph Marie). Lender revealed e-mails showing the project was a priority only to be abandoned.
For those that have worked in the Capitol in recent years, one thing is clear: All shaky roads lead to Chief of Staff Lisa Moody, whose ethically-challenged exploits are legendary. Lender wrote that the word was the project was cancelled because it would have happened on a limited schedule, would have taken longer, and would therefore inconvenience Rell unacceptably.
So if the Rell administration holds to its m.o., we might get the truth sometime after 5 pm today or maybe over the weekend. Or not at all.
As for the aforementioned, embattled DOT Commissioner Marie, he denies behaving “inappropriately” toward an employee. The Hartford Courant reports Marie is “exploring all legal options.” In a statement signed by his lawyer, Marie said he was summoned to attend a meeting with a senior Rell administration member (any guesses who?). Marie said he was told he was the subject of a complaint of “inappropriate conduct” but was not told the identity of the person or what he was alleged to have done.
If Marie signed a legal agreement in which the governor’s office established conditions for his resignation, he said he was told, he would be allowed to resign “in good standing” and the document, which refers to an unspecified misconduct allegation, “would never see the light of day,” according to the Courant.
“If he did not resign at that moment, he would be escorted out of the building and the Governor would indicate that his resignation had been sought because of an allegation of misconduct,” said the lawyer’s statement. “In reliance on this promise that the document would not be disclosed, he signed it and resigned his employment. He did so without the advice of an attorney and without having been given an opportunity to be heard regarding the underlying allegations of misconduct.”