ethics

Being Number Two
3:48 pm
Sat January 11, 2014

Lieutenant Governors Make Headlines — For All The Wrong Reasons

Lt. Gov. Mark Darr and his wife Kim give an interview at the Arkansas Capitol building on Monday. After weeks of pressure to step down from both sides of the aisle, Darr announced his resignation on Friday.
Danny Johnston AP

Originally published on Sat January 11, 2014 5:26 pm

In the end, Mark Darr had to give in.

Darr, the Republican lieutenant governor of Arkansas, announced Friday that he will resign Feb 1. Earlier this month, he agreed to pay the state ethics commission $11,000 in fines for making personal use of campaign funds and receiving improper expense reimbursements from the state.

Darr called his errors "careless and lazy," but said they were not intentional violations of the law. In a series of interviews with Arkansas news outlets Tuesday, Darr said he would refuse to resign.

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New Jersey
5:43 pm
Fri January 10, 2014

N.J. Bridge Scandal: New Emails And Documents Are Released

Newly released documents depict officials discussing the controversial September closure of several lanes leading to the George Washington Bridge from Fort Lee, N.J. Here, the New Jersey side of the bridge, which leads to New York City, is seen Thursday.
Andrew Burton Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 10, 2014 6:28 pm

A New Jersey State Assembly committee released a trove of documents Friday that shed more light on the bridge lane-closure scandal that is embroiling Republican Gov. Chris Christie's administration. The panel is seeking details on what's seen as an act of political retribution, which targeted the Democratic mayor of Fort Lee, N.J. It obtained the documents under a subpoena.

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New Jersey
4:52 pm
Thu January 9, 2014

Taking Responsibility But Dodging Blame, Christie Takes His Time

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie answers questions at a news conference Thursday.
Mel Evans AP

Originally published on Thu January 9, 2014 5:19 pm

What New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said Thursday may have mattered less than how long he took to say it.

With his presidential ambitions and, potentially, his governorship put at risk by a scandal over lane closures on the George Washington Bridge, the Republican Christie fielded dozens of questions from reporters during a midday news conference that lasted nearly two hours.

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Unpaid Wages
3:50 pm
Thu January 9, 2014

In Hartford Scandal, State Officials Seek to Arrest O'Garro

Earl O'Garro.
Credit Mike Priggins and Kyle Reyes / under30ceo.com

It's not getting any better for troubled insurance broker Earl O'Garro. The man at the center of a federal grand jury investigation in Hartford may soon be arrested for not paying his employees. 

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Government Transparency
3:23 pm
Thu January 9, 2014

Progress, But More Work Needed on Statewide Transparency Efforts

Kevin Lembo is the State Comptroller.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

It’s been one month since State Comptroller Kevin Lembo announced the expansion of Open Connecticut -- an online source for state finances -- to include financial information for Connecticut’s quasi-public agencies and federal programs.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Thu January 9, 2014

Understanding Connecticut's Quasi-Public Agencies

State Comptroller talks about quasi-public agencies on <em>Where We Live</em>.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Established in 1965, the Connecticut Health and Educational Facilities Authority has earned its title as the oldest quasi-public agency in our state. Now, it’s one of eleven quasi-public entities in Connecticut, agencies like Connecticut Innovations, Inc.; the Connecticut Development Authority; the Connecticut Lottery Corporation; and the Connecticut Resources Recovery Authority -- to name a few. 

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Ponzi Scheme
1:33 pm
Tue January 7, 2014

JPMorgan Chase To Pay $1.7 Billion To Madoff Victims

Bernard L. Madoff in 2009.
Timothy Clary AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 7, 2014 4:30 pm

After striking a deal with federal prosecutors, JPMorgan Chase has agreed to pay $1.7 billion to the victims of Bernard Madoff's multibillion-dollar Ponzi scheme.

The bank will be criminally charged with two violations of the Bank Secrecy Act and will admit to the violations. But under the agreement, the bank will receive a deferred prosecution.

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Insider Trading Investigation
11:23 am
Tue January 7, 2014

SAC Capital Manager Goes to Trial

Matthew Martoma in November 2012, outside a New York federal court.
Credit Spencer Platt/Getty Images News / Thinkstock

Jury selection begins on Tuesday in the trial of Matthew Martoma, a manager for SAC Capital, who's accused of insider trading. It's the latest court action in an investigation of the Connecticut-based hedge fund that has lasted for several years.

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Hartford Insurance Scandal
3:40 pm
Fri January 3, 2014

In 2011, Tension Between O'Garro and Former Employer

Earl O'Garro.
Credit Fortnight Journal

There are new questions about the business background of Earl O'Garro -- the insurance broker at the center of a federal grand jury investigation in Hartford. 

In emails obtained from the city of Hartford, it's clear that O'Garro's former employer considered suing him once he left.

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Hartford Insurance Investigation
11:00 am
Tue December 31, 2013

Message to Earl O'Garro: The State is Coming for Its Money

Earl O'Garro's Marlborough home.
Credit Town Of Marlborough

Lawyers for the state are moving to seize property owned by embattled Hartford insurance broker Earl O'Garro, according to the office of the state attorney general.

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Yale University
9:03 am
Mon December 23, 2013

Asbestos Victims Ask Yale to Revoke an Honorary Degree

Members of AFEVA, the Asbestos Victims and Relatives Association
Courtesy of Chris Meisenkothen

An Italian organization representing victims of asbestos exposure has asked Yale University to rescind an honorary degree awarded to the owner of the company they once worked for.

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Hartford Insurance Investigation
1:15 pm
Fri December 20, 2013

More Answers About Hartford Treasurer's NYC Visit

Hartford City Hall.
Credit Heather Brandon / WNPR

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. 

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O'Garro and Cloud
8:55 am
Thu December 19, 2013

Hartford Auditor: a Problem Like Cloud's Could Happen Again

The City of Hartford's Internal Audit Commission.
Credit Jeff Cohen / WNPR

An auditor for the city of Hartford said he has no confidence that the kinds of protocol breaches that got the city treasurer and former finance director in trouble won't happen again.

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Advertising
4:32 pm
Mon December 16, 2013

Energy Drink Companies Find Unique Ways to Market to Children

The Red Bull RC Helicopter.
Ray Hardman WNPR

In a press conference at the legislative office building in Hartford on Monday, U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal called on energy drink companies to stop marketing their product to children through toys bearing the energy drink's logo.

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Massachusetts
7:52 am
Mon December 16, 2013

Anti-casino Group Questions Gaming Commissioner's Impartiality

Massachusetts Gaming Commissioner Bruce Stebbins

Originally published on Fri December 13, 2013 3:18 pm

An anti-casino group wants a Massachusetts gaming commissioner to recuse himself from voting on a casino project in Springfield.

   The chairman of Springfield’s anti-casino group, Citizens Against Casino Gaming says state  gaming commissioner Bruce Stebbins should not vote on whether MGM can proceed with an $800 million casino project in downtown Springfield.   Michael Kogut said Stebbins’ previous position with the city makes it impossible for him to be impartial

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Hartford Insurance Investigation
3:09 pm
Tue December 10, 2013

O'Garro Owes State Another $264,000

Earl O'Garro.
Credit Fortnight Journal

It turns out that Earl O’Garro, the man at the center of the federal grand jury investigation in Hartford, owes the state a lot more money than we first thought.

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Legislation
1:52 pm
Tue December 10, 2013

How ALEC Serves As A 'Dating Service' For Politicians And Corporations

President Bush speaks to the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) in Philadelphia, on July 26, 2007.
Mel Evans AP

Originally published on Wed December 11, 2013 12:07 pm

A batch of internal documents recently leaked to The Guardian has revealed new insights into the goals and finances of the secretive group called ALEC. The American Legislative Exchange Council is a group that brings together state legislators and representatives of corporations. Together, they develop model bills that lawmakers introduce and try to pass in their state legislatures.

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The Fate of Eddie Perez
11:46 am
Mon December 9, 2013

Court Orders Two New Trials For Former Hartford Mayor Eddie Perez

Eddie Perez walks to court with family and supporters.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

The state's appellate court has thrown out the 2010 corruption convictions of former Hartford Mayor Eddie Perez and ordered two new trials.

The court ruled that there was a enough evidence to convict Perez, but that the trial court judge made a procedural error that merits two new trials. Perez was convicted over three years ago on separate charges relating to bribery and extortion while he was mayor. A judge sentenced him to three years in prison.   

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Hartford Insurance Investigation
11:48 am
Thu December 5, 2013

Hartford Releases Documents Given to Federal Grand Jury

Earl O'Garro.
Credit Fortnight Journal

Last month, the city of Hartford gave a series of documents to a federal grand jury looking into the business dealings of troubled insurance broker Earl O’Garro. Now, the city has released those documents publicly.

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Hartford Insurance Investigation
12:51 pm
Tue December 3, 2013

For O'Garro, Debts Large and Small

Earl O'Garro.
Credit Fortnight Journal

The line of people who want their money from Earl O'Garro continues to grow.

O'Garro is the man at the center of a federal grand jury investigation looking into $670,000 in missing taxpayer money. The city of Hartford paid him to pay its insurance bills, and he apparently never did.  

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Falsified Forensics
4:38 pm
Sat November 23, 2013

Examining The 'Red Flags' In A Massachusetts Crime Lab Scandal

Former state chemist Annie Dookhan, left, stands alongside her attorney on Friday. She admitted faking test results in criminal cases and was sentenced to 3-to-5 years in prison.
David L. Ryan AP

Originally published on Sat November 23, 2013 6:07 pm

Former chemist Annie Dookhan began serving a 3-to-5 year sentence in a Massachusetts prison on Friday after pleading guilty to falsifying tests of drug evidence and helping to create one of the nation's largest drug lab scandals.

Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley says the state is taking steps to improve forensic testing:

"It is certainly lessons learned," she says. "We hope that we've made changes in the system that will mean this unique case will not happen again in Massachusetts."

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Business
6:12 pm
Fri November 22, 2013

JPMorgan Says It Broke No Law. So Why Pay The $13 Billion?

The U.S. government says JPMorgan Chase & Co. knowingly sold faulty mortgage-backed securities in the years leading up to the financial crisis. The bank says it's broken no laws.
Emmanuel Dunand AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat November 23, 2013 1:20 am

State and federal regulators have hailed Tuesday's $13 billion settlement with JPMorgan Chase & Co. over faulty mortgage assets it sold in the years leading up to the financial crisis as a big victory for the judicial system.

But like other big settlements to emerge from the financial crisis, the deal leaves unclear just what the bank did wrong.

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Ethics In Hartford
4:52 pm
Thu November 21, 2013

Ethics Codes, Labor Law, and Adam Cloud

Hartford City Hall.
Credit Heather Brandon / WNPR

Hartford city auditors have said that Treasurer Adam Cloud had an apparent conflict of interest when it came to his family's business relationship with a city insurance broker. But this isn't Cloud's first run-in with the ethics code.

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Hartford Insurance Scandal
5:59 pm
Wed November 20, 2013

Cloud's Attorney Sheds Light on NYC Hotel Stay

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. 

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The Wheelhouse Digest
2:18 pm
Wed November 20, 2013

The Benefits of Rats; a Long-Awaited Report; and Losing Gambles

Ray Soucy, left, walks away from reporters after his sentencing Monday. His lawyer, Steven B. Rasile, is at right.
Credit Mark Pazniokas / CT Mirror

We’re less than a year away from the 2014 midterm election, but we’re still wrapping up a major story from the last congressional election. One of the key figures in the Chris Donovan scandal involving illegal campaign contributions was sentenced on Monday.

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Where We Live
3:25 pm
Tue November 19, 2013

Political Scandals, MA Foxwoods Vote, and Obamacare Delay

The Wheelhouse will have you looking at state politics from a different angle.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Another chapter in the political scandal that derailed former House Speaker Chris Donovan’s congressional campaign has come to a close as one of the key figures in the case was sentenced earlier this week. Our weekly political news roundtable The Wheelhouse will discuss this and what the Obamacare delay means for Connecticut. And will Foxwoods get a casino in Massachusetts?

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Troubled Mortgages
3:08 pm
Tue November 19, 2013

JPMorgan Chase Will Pay $13 Billion In Record Settlement

In a settlement deal, JPMorgan Chase has agreed to pay some $13 billion in fines and other payments related to mortgages and mortgage securities that helped cause the financial crisis that began in 2007.
Mark Lennihan AP

Originally published on Tue November 19, 2013 5:38 pm

In an agreement settling many U.S. claims over its sale of troubled mortgages, JPMorgan Chase will pay a record $13 billion, in a deal announced by the Justice Department Tuesday. The plan includes a $4 billion payment for consumer relief, along with a payment to investors of more than $6 billion and a large fine.

The latest updates on this story are at the bottom of this post. We've also added a few key points to the main post.

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Corporate Reputation
6:41 am
Tue November 19, 2013

JPMorgan Reportedly To Pay $4 Billion To Mortgage Borrowers

People walk by JPMorgan Chase & Co. headquarters in New York, in August.
Emmanuel Dunand AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon November 18, 2013 8:45 pm

JPMorgan Chase & Co. will pay $4 billion to consumers who were hurt by faulty mortgage underwriting, part of a larger $13 billion deal to settle the bank's liability in the collapse of toxic securities during the housing crisis.

The deal is expected to be announced this week.

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Local Control
7:43 pm
Mon November 18, 2013

How Would Your City Handle A Mayor Like Rob Ford?

Mayor Rob Ford talks during a City Council debate in Toronto on Nov. 13.
Nathan Denette AP

Originally published on Mon November 18, 2013 3:47 pm

If an American city had a mayor as embarrassing as Rob Ford of Toronto, whose problems with drugs and alcohol have caused an international sensation, it could get rid of him.

Probably.

Recalls of local elected officials have become more common in the U.S. over the past few years.

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Hartford Insurance Scandal
1:49 pm
Mon November 18, 2013

Courant: O’Garro’s Wife Felt He Would Kill Her

Earl O'Garro.
Credit Fortnight Journal

Hartford Courant columnist Kevin Rennie broke news this weekend that Earl O'Garro had been arrested by state police earlier this month.

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