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State Senator

Carlo Leone

Representing Stamford & Darien

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Transportation Committee Chairs Respond to Unnecessary Republican Request Regarding the Upcoming Connecticut Port Authority Hearing

HARTFORD, CT – Today, state Senator and Senate Chair of the legislature’s Transportation Committee Carlo Leone (D-Stamford) and committee House Chair state Representative Roland Lemar (D-New Haven) released the following statement in regards to a recent request from state Representative Laura Devlin (R-Fairfield) and state Senator Henri Martin (R-Bristol) for the committee chairs to use their power under section 2-46 to require attendance at the upcoming informational forum on December 4. The chairs of the committee have already taken the necessary steps to gain pertinent information regarding the Port Authority, rendering the request unnecessary.

“Although I appreciate feedback and participation on behalf of my colleagues from across the aisle, my co-chair and I have already taken the necessary steps to pursue the information needed to review the actions of the Port Authority,” said Sen. Leone. “We remain focused on finding solutions and getting answers to ensure the state’s vital Port Authority fulfils its purpose to assure its future success.”

“As we have stated before, we are committed to finding viable solutions to address the concerns before us,” said Rep. Lemar. “I am looking forward to the forum on December 4, and ensuring the Port Authority fully meets its obligations to the state.”

The second informational forum in regards to the Connecticut Port Authority will be held on Wednesday, December 4 at 10:30 am in room 1E of the Legislative Office Building. This forum will address further concerns following the release of an audit by the Auditors of Public Accounts on the state’s port authority which revealed a number of issues including, but not limited to, a lack of statutorily required policies including procedures concerning the use of surplus funds.

The first Transportation Committee informational forum was held on August 20, 2019 to review transitions at the Connecticut Port Authority and how the state’s port authority will move forward. The informational hearing came after the Connecticut Port Authority’s Executive Director was placed on administrative leave and the Chair of the Board resigned.

The Chair of the Board stepped down after media reports they paid their daughter $3,000 in agency funding to purchase professional photographs and have them hung in the Port Authority’s Old Saybrook office.

The Executive Director was placed on administrative leave for comments made to the press that were “unbecoming of a public sector leader,” according to Acting Connecticut Port Authority Chair David Koorls.

The state’s port authority was established five years ago by the legislature in order to best position the state to make good on economic development opportunities at the state’s ports.

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