An aide to Connecticut Gov. John G. Rowland (R) pleaded guilty last year to criminal charges of accepting gold coins in exchange for steering state contracts. The aide reportedly buried the coins, but the digging in Connecticut has unearthed considerably more in weeks leading up to Rowlands June 21 resignation from office. State legislators say he took gifts from contractors, among others, and may have violated state laws.
A federal investigation of the governor, whose resignation took effect July 1, still is ongoing. Connecticut lawmakers who had weighed impeaching Rowland have also been tightening up rules on gifts and negotiated contractsknown throughout the scandal as no-bid contracts.
A prominent contractor, The Tomasso Group, New Britain, has already lost some projects. On May 28, state Dept. of Public Works Commissioner James T. Fleming announced its replacement by Turner Construction Co. as developer and construction manager for a new $54-million Juvenile Detention Center in Bridgeport. Tomasso subsidiary TBI Construction had teamed with New Britain-based architect KaestleBoos Associates for the design-build contract.
The department said in a statement that TBI was terminated over concern about project delays. The state and TBI are currently at odds over millions of dollars in costs related to environmental problems, says Bernie Sullivan, Tomasso Groups executive vice president. He says his companys contract was suddenly canceled in December for convenience.
The commissioner is overreacting to publicity, says Sullivan. There was a bond in place and we had done everything we had to do. He adds that the company is eager to clear its name.
Sensitivities, however, are high in Hartford. Last year, Flemings predecessor, Theodore Anson, had resigned after it was made public that he had accepted as...