Top Lamont officials were told of school bidding complaints in 2020

February 16, 2022

The CT Mirror

By Mark Pazniokas, Dave Altimari and Andrew Brown

A year before the FBI opened its investigation, high-ranking officials in the Lamont administration were told by a demolition contractor that he believed the state Office of Policy and Management was attempting to direct millions of dollars in contracts for local school projects in violation of state law.

From at least April 2020 through February 2021, the president of Stamford Wrecking Company and his lawyer repeatedly pressed complaints that OPM was not following the legally required bidding process for demolition and hazard abatement work and was instead driving work to a small group of contractors on an OPM-approved emergency bid list.

“Any effort by OPM to circumvent the proper public bidding requirements and award a no bid contract from the emergency list would be illegal, a violation of the bid statutes and practices in the State of Connecticut,” Irving Goldblum, the president of Stamford Wrecking, wrote on April 29, 2020.

On October 20, 2021, the FBI subpoenaed records relating to state-financed school construction projects and other construction overseen by Konstantinos Diamantis, who was fired eight days later by the governor’s office as the deputy to OPM Secretary Melissa McCaw.

Diamantis said Tuesday the OPM-approved list was offered to help municipalities save money, not interfere in competitive bidding.

The initial correspondence from Stamford Wrecking, which was obtained by the Connecticut Mirror, was addressed to McCaw and Josh Geballe, then the commissioner of the Department of Administrative Services. The company eventually complained to Attorney General William Tong, whose spokesperson says he referred the matter to “appropriate authorities.”

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