Attorney General Cites 'Extraordinary Circumstances' At Connecticut Port Authority | Connecticut Public Radio

Attorney General Cites 'Extraordinary Circumstances' At Connecticut Port Authority

Aug 29, 2019

State Attorney General William Tong is directing his staff to provide “any assistance we can” in an ongoing investigation into questionable conduct and purchases at the Connecticut Port Authority.

Over the last several weeks, several members of the Port Authority have resigned or been placed on leave

The changes come amid controversy over how the quasi-public agency managed its finances and treated members of the public while negotiating a $93 million redevelopment of New London’s State Pier. 

That deal, announced by Governor Ned Lamont in May, is yet to be finalized.

Senate Republican Leader Len Fasano wrote to Tong last week and requested his office “review every bid and every contract signed by the Connecticut Port Authority since its establishment.”

In a letter to Fasano written Wednesday, Tong said contracts and bids from quasi-publics “do not flow through our office for review.” But noted that, “given the extraordinary circumstances here” he is directing his office to “provide any assistance we can” to officials at the Office of Policy and Management and the Auditors of Public Accounts.

“I appreciate and share your concerns about recently reported actions and potential misconduct at this quasi-public agency,” Tong responded Wednesday. “I also agree that a comprehensive and thorough review and investigation of the Port Authority should be conducted immediately.” 

In an emailed statement, Governor Lamont’s spokesperson Max Reiss said the Governor has already called for leadership changes at the Port Authority and is directing the Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management to oversee all its financial decisions. 

Last week the legislature’s Transportation Committee held a public hearing on the Port Authority. As CT News Junkie reported, none of the decision-makers involved in the actions currently under review at the Authority were in attendance.

Meanwhile, the state has ordered an independent third party audit.