Tomasso Group had contributed heavily to Rowlands election campaign at the same time it was trying to gain an upper hand on competitors in the state buildings market, claims a report by Connecticut Common Cause. According to Sullivan, who joined the company after working as a prominent aide to top state lawmakers, The Tomasso Group prefers negotiated work.
Brothers Michael and William Tomasso are part of the new generation of family owners who cultivated a relationship with the governor. The company performed work on Rowlands vacation home in 1998. The governor also paid less than market price for time spent at a Tomasso-owned Florida condo. The brothers invoked their privilege against self-incrimination when asked to testify by state lawmakers.
Connecticut has used different types of negotiated procurements, generally involving requests for proposals and short-listing. According to the legislative report issued June 29, Rowland was concerned about the presence of William Tomasso and Charles Boos, principal of Kaestle Boos, on a 1998 research trip by state officials to study juvenile detention centers. The report says Tomasso used the trip to win a contract for a similar facility now finished in Middletown, Conn., by hiring a designer and consultant from Ohio. The firms head start appears to have violated state law, says the committee.
When other state contractors worked on Rowlands lakeside cottage in the late 1990s but expected payment, Rowland was years late, claims the lawmakers report. The firms included O&G Industries and Astro Electric, which suddenly got a check in September. With it Rowland sent a note thanking Ron Shortell, Astro Electrics owner, for his patience....a gift some design work on his home by Kaestle Boos. Neither Anson nor Kaestle Boos were charged with a crime. Neither could be reached for comment.