Cloud's Attorney Sheds Light on NYC Hotel Stay

Nov 20, 2013

Hartford Treasurer Adam Cloud.
Credit City of Hartford

Earlier this week, we reported that there were unanswered questions about a receipt for a New York City hotel room billed to the city of Hartford. On the reservation were city treasurer Adam Cloud and embattled insurance broker Earl O'Garro -- two men named in a federal investigation into nearly $700,000 in missing taxpayer money.

Now, Cloud's attorney is providing some answers. 

City auditors said Cloud had an apparent conflict of interest: he did city business with O'Garro, a man who also did business with Cloud's family. Cloud denied any wrongdoing. As we went through city records, a New York City hotel receipt from August 2012 stuck out. O'Garro and Cloud were booked as guests in the room, according to the receipt.

When we originally asked Cloud, he said that "the charge was incorrectly placed" on his city credit card and was "subsequently removed." When we originally asked his attorney John Droney, he said that "O'Garro had reserved a room" at the hotel "that was charged to Adam by mistake."

Turns out, they both had it wrong. Here's part of our conversation:

Cohen: Why did Adam tell me originally the charges...

Droney: He made a mistake. Is it possible people could make a mistake? Not remember everything?

Cohen: Sure.

Droney: So he made a mistake.

And here's what Droney said actually happened: "Adam was talking to O'Garro on the phone, and mentioned that he had to stay in the city overnight and didn't have a hotel room," Droney said. "And O'Garro said, 'I have a relationship at the W, let me put a room in both of our names. Use it if you want to.' He used it for city business, because it was on city business, and therefore the city should pay for it."

Droney said he's doing his own investigation, and he doesn't yet know the nature of the business that brought Cloud to New York. But he does know this: The two men clearly know each other. But that relationship played no role when Cloud wired O'Garro city money.

"They had a relationship but he didn't act improperly and he did not give O'Garro the wire transfer because of some sort of relationship," he said. "There's no there there. That dog won't hunt."

Droney also said this: Cloud hasn't been contacted by federal authorities in connection with their grand jury investigation.