by Jennifer Swift
Sep 16, 2013
06:54 AMConnecticut Politics
Tom Foley Wants Answers Directly from Gov. Malloy on Claims of Unethical Behavior
Jennifer Swift/Connecticut Magazine
Tom Foley announces he is exploring a run for governor on Sept. 10, 2013.
Tom Foley is calling on Gov. Dannel P. Malloy to personally answer the accusations lodged against him by Foley, while suggesting that if the governor doesn’t answer them, people may believe they're true.
“I think we need to hear from the governor on this, and it needs to be a very clear statement,” Foley said Sunday night. “The governor can very easily dispense of this, but he has to do it personally and he has to do it quickly. If he doesn’t respond personally and say they aren’t true by the end of the day tomorrow, I think reasonable people will assume that these accusations are true.”
In a statement Sunday, Malloy spokesman Andrew Doba said Foley's claims were “factually incorrect” and that the Republican gubernatorial hopeful owes everyone he referred to an apology.
Foley’s deadline comments came hours after he appeared on WFSB’s Face the State, when he said he had heard disconcerting allegations against the governor from “multiple reliable sources” that he would not disclose.
Among Foley's claims is that Daniel Esty, who Malloy appointed to lead the Department of Energy and Environmental Protesction, contributed to Malloy's 2010 campaign without properly labeling the contributions, presumably in exchange for the DEEP post.
He also alleges he has been told towns were pressured into using the firm Pullman & Comley when purchasing bonds, because there was a greater chance the governor would approve them. Malloy’s former chief counsel, Andrew McDonald, worked for Pullman & Comley and was later named a state Supreme Court Justice by Malloy.
A third allegation is that after Roy Occhiogrosso, Malloy’s senior adviser and chief strategist left his administration, his company Global Strategy Group was awarded a contract with the quasi-government agency Access Health CT, which operates the state’s health exchange, because of Occhiogrosso's connection to Malloy.
The fourth allegation was that a senior member of Malloy’s administration pressured a UConn Foundation board member into financing Malloy’s international trips.
It has been reported that the UConn Foundation did pay for Malloy’s trips, and it was confirmed Sunday that Access Health CT has contracted Occhiogrosso’s company. The CEO of Access Health CT, Kevin Counihan, vehemently denied the Malloy administration had any input in their choosing of Occhiogrosso’s company, and said they were chosen after a competitive bid process. Esty also released a statement denying that he had ever employed Malloy.
Foley said If the claims are true, but the administration believes they are not unethical, Malloy needs to explain that. He said Doba's statement that the claims are "factually incorrect" does not answer the question.
“Is he saying the UConn Foundation did not pay for the tirp to China or the trip to Davos? The administration has said in the past that they did," Foley said. "And are they saying that the state didn’t enter into a contract with Roy Occhiogrosso's firm because they admitted that they did. So here seems to be some conflicting evidence here...And he needs to answer to them. To say its not factually correct, that’s not good enough. What is not factually correct? To say it's not true, well that conflicts with what they've said about these things before."
Foley said he wants Malloy to answer personally and quickly.
"We look forward to hearing what the governor says, and we hope he addresses it quickly because if not, this will fester for a long time and it won’t be good for the residents of Connecticut," he said.
Responding to Foley's claims, the state Democratic Party began questioning Foley's previous arrests, as was done in the previous election when he faced Malloy.
Foley said the Democrats' statement was nothing more than their attempt to change the subject from the serious allegations at hand.
“Is that the best they’ve got to respond to these very serious charges or improprieties? That’s very weak,” he said.
“We’re not going to accept a response from some surrogate, we’re not going to accept a change of subject. These are very serious charges and I believe that they meet the standards of brining things into the public dialogue because I have multiple reliable sources for each one of them. And he needs to answer to them.”Tom Foley Wants Answers Directly from Gov. Malloy on Claims of Unethical Behavior