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Thursday, December 14, 2006

Moody misled officials

Oh, this is SOOO shocking.
Gov. M. Jodi Rell's chief of staff, M. Lisa Moody, "misled" a legislative committee by giving sworn testimony that was "not credible" regarding a Rell fundraiser last year, according to a draft copy of a new legislative report.

The report, obtained Wednesday by The Courant, also says that state elections enforcement chief Jeffrey Garfield should face "some form of reprimand or censure" because he deleted important information from an investigative report and released the unedited version only after hearings were completed last spring.

Garfield "exhibited poor judgment and allowed personal relationships to impact his investigation and reporting" of the investigation into Moody's involvement in a Rell fundraiser in December 2005 at the Marco Polo restaurant in East Hartford, the report says.

Neither Moody nor Garfield would comment Wednesday night.

The report, written by Democratic staff members and leaders of the government administration and elections committee, will be considered at a Democratic caucus at 1 p.m. today at the state Capitol complex in Hartford. The document contains 16 recommendations for legislation in an effort to prevent future instances of impropriety and coziness that Democrats said was present in the case.

Moody was suspended by Rell for two weeks after admitting that she handed out invitations to commissioners on state time. Her actions led to seven days of often-contentious legislative hearings in May. Sixteen of Rell's commissioners or deputies were fined $500 each to settle a case under a state law that prohibits those officials from soliciting campaign contributions from their subordinates.

The 14-page report quotes Moody as telling at least one senior staff member, "I am not twisting your arm, but I am," regarding the fundraiser.

The report also states that Moody told one deputy commissioner that "this meeting isn't happening" and another that "it's after 5" - meaning that the workday was officially over for state employees.


"Based on the entire record before this committee, we conclude that Ms. Moody's sworn testimony before the GAE Committee was not credible," the report states. "We conclude that Ms. Moody consciously and repeatedly distributed fundraising invitations to gubernatorial staff members and to state commissioners and deputy commissioners with full knowledge that her actions violated the governor's own ethics policy and would result in illegal campaign practices."
Once again, the governor gets away with this type of nonsense without a scratch.