ethics

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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Political Corruption
11:40 am
Mon November 18, 2013

Soucy Sentenced to Halfway House

Harry Raymond Soucy, left, with his lawyer, Steven Rasile, outside federal court.
Credit Mark Pazniokas / The Connecticut Mirror

A former labor union official will spend six months in a halfway house for his role in a conspiracy to funnel illegal campaign contributions to former Connecticut House Speaker Christopher Donovan. 

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Where We Live
8:45 am
Mon November 18, 2013

Has Corruption Killed the Corporate Reputation?

Credit Manu_H / Creative Commons

It’s been a rough season for corporations on Wall Street. On Sunday, JPMorgan Chase reached a tentative $4.5 billion settlement over mortgage-backed securities they sold, leading up to the financial crisis. This, on top of a $13 billion settlement with the Justice Department. These big financial hits are happening along with questions about the company’s relationship with the daughter of the former Chinese prime minister

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Hartford Insurance Controversy
11:45 pm
Sun November 17, 2013

Unanswered Questions About Cloud, O'Garro, and a Trip to NYC

Hartford City Treasurer Adam Cloud.
Credit City of Hartford

Hartford continues to buzz with questions about insurance broker Earl O'Garro, city treasurer Adam Cloud, and nearly $700,000 of missing taxpayer money. Now there are unanswered questions about a 2012 trip to New York City.

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Hartford Insurance Scandal
4:38 pm
Thu November 14, 2013

State Revokes Insurance License for O'Garro, Hybrid Insurance

Earl O'Garro.
Credit Fortnight Journal

Earl O'Garro has lost his state insurance license, and his company has lost its license, too.  The state said O'Garro never responded to an extensive eleven-count complaint filed against him last month. As a result, the state has revoked the licenses he and his company held to sell insurance.

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Insurance Scandal
10:47 am
Thu November 14, 2013

O'Garro Speaks

NBC Connecticut's George Colli snagged a one-on-one interview with Earl O'Garro, the man at the center of the federal grand jury investigation in Hartford. It's worth a few minutes of your time.

Technology
10:58 am
Thu November 7, 2013

Tag Him, Track Him, Hug Him, Love Him

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue November 12, 2013 12:43 pm

In Dave Eggers' terrific new novel, The Circle, set at a California computer company, a cult of connection is slowly taking over the United States and spreading around the globe. An evolving cultural preference for constant sharing by way of computer and camera is turning any citizen's wish for privacy into a scorned, misanthropic secrecy.

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Cheating
8:49 am
Thu November 7, 2013

Investigators Confirm Test Tampering at Hartford School

Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

An investigation has confirmed test tampering at a Hartford elementary school. In a report submitted this week to state education officials by an outside law firm, investigators concluded there were irregularities in more than two dozen Connecticut Mastery Tests at the Early Reading Lab at Betances Elementary School. The report was obtained by The Hartford Courant.

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Hartford Insurance Scandal
1:54 pm
Tue November 5, 2013

In Wake of Controversy, Hartford Treasurer Makes Changes

Hartford City Treasurer Adam Cloud.
Credit City of Hartford

Once a federal grand jury enters the picture, every little detail counts.

And so.

Yesterday, we told you that Hartford city auditors issued their report on Treasurer Adam Cloud and Hybrid Insurance Group. Among other things, they found that Cloud and finance officials ignored standard operating procedure when they wired more than $800,000 to Hybrid's troubled CEO Earl O'Garro. 

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Hartford Insurance Scandal
12:50 pm
Mon November 4, 2013

City Auditors: Cloud Ignored Standard Procedure; Apparent Conflict of Interest

City Treasurer Adam Cloud.
Credit City of Hartford

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.

And, in a report just obtained by WNPR, they found two things of note.

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Ontario
4:09 pm
Sun November 3, 2013

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford Says He Will Not Resign

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford as he faced reporters questions Thursday.
Mark Blinch Reuters/Landov

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford says he is "going to ride this storm out."

Of course, he is referring to the scandal that has overtaken his term as mayor of Canada's largest city. As Mark reported, for months now, there have been reports that there is a video out there that allegedly shows Ford smoking crack cocaine.

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Insurance Scandal
3:20 pm
Fri November 1, 2013

In Hartford Controversy, Feds Serve Subpoena on Two State Agencies

Hartford City Treasurer Adam Cloud.
Credit City of Hartford

The scope of the federal grand jury investigation involving the relationship between Hartford's city treasurer and an insurance broker continues to grow, as the state has confirmed that federal prosecutors served a subpoena on two of its departments.

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Insurance scandal
1:23 pm
Wed October 30, 2013

Hartford Releases More Detail From Federal Subpoena

Credit Jeff Cohen / WNPR

The City of Hartford has released more information about the federal investigation into alleged corruption at city hall. Specifically, the subpoena confirms that the federal grand jury is looking into the relationship between the city and Hybrid Insurance Group. 

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Where We Live
7:01 am
Wed October 30, 2013

The Wheelhouse: FOI, Fundraising, and the New Archbishop

Mark Pazniokas from the Connecticut Mirror.
Chion Wolf WNPR

Our weekly news roundtable The Wheelhouse has a lot on the table, including a Hartford scandal that has turned into yet another dispute over freedom of information. Also, there were hearings earlier this week on the Metro-North outages. So who's to blame, and who's going to pay? We'll also check in with someone who writes about Catholicism. When the new Archbishop in Hartford was announced, he said it was "not a happy day" in the city.

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the long arm
2:18 pm
Tue October 29, 2013

Before It Releases Subpoena, Hartford Waits to Hear From Feds

Credit Jeff Cohen / WNPR

Attorneys for Mayor Pedro Segarra say they are still waiting to hear from federal prosecutors as to whether they can release a federal grand jury subpoena.

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Looking for answers
3:29 pm
Mon October 28, 2013

Hartford Officials Refuse to Release Federal Subpoena

Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra told reporters last week that federal prosecutors had served a subpoena on city hall. His attorneys won't release them.
Credit Jeff Cohen / WNPR

Federal prosecutors served a subpoena on Hartford City Hall last week, and attorneys for Mayor Pedro Segarra are refusing to release it to the public.  But a recent case suggests that the city may be violating the state's Freedom of Information laws.

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