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Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Emails restored...Moody-gate is far from over

This Moody-gate thing is getting stranger by the day.
E-mails that elections enforcement chief Jeffrey B. Garfield claimed were not on his state computer when requested by legislators last spring had been restored at least six days before the request, according to records of the state Department of Information Technology.

The e-mails - belatedly turned over to a legislative committee last week after they were discovered by an independent counsel - involved a chummy invitation to a February social outing from M. Lisa Moody, the gubernatorial chief of staff then at the center of an investigation by Garfield's office.


Garfield last week told legislators he failed to hand over the February e-mails because he'd considered them insignificant - the get-together Moody proposed never took place - and deleted them from his computer by the time the committee requested the documents April 6.

The deleted e-mails only "became available later" when Department of Information Technology officials used backup tapes to restore them for his agency, the State Elections Enforcement Commission, Garfield wrote in a letter to the committee.

But information technology records examined Tuesday by The Courant showed that the e-mails had been reinstalled in his computer by March 31, the week before the committee asked for his electronic communications.

The data were restored to Garfield's computer in March in response to an FOI request from The Courant seeking his e-mails. But Garfield said Tuesday he didn't use that data to comply with the subsequent committee request "because I felt that I had all the relevant e-mails in my office computer."

He said he didn't intentionally conceal the exchange with Moody, adding: "I don't remember precisely when I deleted it from the office computer."

But skepticism grew Tuesday.

"If Jeff Garfield had this correspondence" when legislators requested it April 6 "and didn't provide it to us, then he's obstructing the legislature's investigation," said state Sen. Edward Meyer, D-Guilford, acting co-chairman of the government administration and elections committee.