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Hartford Insurance Scandal
Mon November 4, 2013
City Auditors: Cloud Ignored Standard Procedure; Apparent Conflict of Interest
Before a federal grand jury began investigating the relationship between Hartford City Treasurer Adam Cloud and insurance broker Earl O'Garro, city auditors took a stab at it.
First, auditors say Cloud and former Finance Director Julio Molleda didn't follow standard operating procedures when wiring O'Garro and his firm, Hybrid Insurance Group, more than $800,000.
Second, they say "there is an appearance of a conflict of interest between the City Treasurer and [Hybrid] based on reported business dealings between the Treasurer's family real estate business and [Hybrid] as a tenant, the Treasurer's sibling being a lobbyist on behalf of [Hybrid] and other dealings between the Treasurer and [Hybrid]."
But the commission declined to investigate the appearance of a conflict further. It's leaving that, it said, to the grand jury.
UPDATE: Mayor Pedro Segarra declined to be interviewed. In a statement, he says he is reserving judgment until several investigations have run their course. He's not yet decided whether to ask the city's ethics commission to investigate.
But Council President Shawn Wooden says the auditor's findings are disturbing.
"Clearly, with respect to the wire, this is a significant breakdown in proper financial controls and that's pretty clear from the audit findings," he said. "And it's my understanding that the treasurer's office has already put additional measures in place to ensure that this never happens again."
Wooden says he expects the city's ethics commission to look into the Cloud matter.