Republicans’ election-year focus is on federal probe, Lamont

February 25, 2022

The Bulletin

By Susan Haigh

The top Republican in the Connecticut House said Thursday he wants a legislative commission — and possibly a private investigator — to look into alleged state contracting “wrongdoings” by a former member of Democratic Gov. Ned Lamont’s administration.

Standing in front of signs with enlarged news headlines that included the words “corruption” and “scandal” at a state Capitol news conference, House Minority Leader Vincent Candelora’s request was the latest salvo in recent weeks from legislative Republicans, as well as Lamont’s likely GOP challenger in November, businessman Bob Stefanowski, and the Republican Governors Association. They’ve publicly questioned the governor’s leadership in responding to a federal grand jury subpoena regarding hundreds of millions of dollars in state spending, and whether it’s a sign of larger problems for the administration and state Democrats.

“There is an erosion of good government in this building,” Candelora said. “People should be concerned with that.”

It’s doubtful a bipartisan commission, similar to the impeachment panel created in 2004 to investigate then-Gov. John G. Rowland, a Republican, will be formed anytime soon. A federal grand jury appears to be still meeting and top Democratic leaders reiterated Thursday that existing legislative committees should hold hearings to determine if changes need to be made to the state’s school construction funding process.

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