Ever since news broke that a federal grand jury was looking into dealings between insurance broker Earl O'Garro and the city of Hartford, there's been a question: How well do O'Garro and city Treasurer Adam Cloud know each other? Now we have a few more answers.
But first, the background.
Last month, we reported that there were unanswered questions about a receipt for a New York City hotel room billed to the city of Hartford back in 2012. Both Cloud and O'Garro were on the reservation receipt.
Both men are named in federal subpoenas served on Hartford city hall by investigators looking into O'Garro's relationship with the city and $670,000 in missing taxpayer money.
For weeks, we tried to get a good understanding of that receipt. Cloud and his attorney initially said O'Garro paid for the hotel and it shouldn't have been billed to Cloud's city credit card. They later changed their story, saying that Cloud was in New York on Hartford city business, and that the city was properly billed. But they wouldn't describe the city business that brought Cloud to New York.
Now they have. According to John Droney, Cloud's attorney, O'Garro was never in New York with the treasurer. But Cloud was there for two meetings. The first was on August 22, 2012 and was with a Latino investment banking firm. Given the city's "vibrant and active Latino community," Cloud decided to have the meeting to discuss potential business, Droney said. That night, Cloud stayed at his father's New York apartment.
Then, the next day, Cloud had a dinner meeting with an architect to discuss financial strategies to improve the city's budget while, at the same time, making city hall more environmentally friendly. Droney said it's a concept that Mayor Pedro Segarra was involved in, too. He also said nothing came of it.
Anyhow, that dinner ran late, and that's when Cloud got O'Garro to call the W Hotel and make a reservation on his behalf. Droney said that's the whole story, except he won't give the name of the architect Cloud met with.
We've asked the mayor's office for more information about the effort to "green" city hall. We've not gotten a response.