ethics

Hiring an employee is an expensive proposition. Workers' compensation, social security and other expenses can run thousands of dollars a year, so it's no surprise that companies often try to reduce expenses keeping workers off the payroll, calling them independent contractors instead.

But sometimes they do so in violation of state law. And in a new report, State Auditor Doug Hoffer says the state isn't doing enough to stop a practice known as "misclassification."

It's all too raw: the grieving of survivors, the images of carnage, the way we learn of events and the way we consume them.

Viewers of the morning show for WDBJ-TV in Roanoke, Va., actually watched the deadly shootings of reporter Alison Parker and videographer Adam Ward. And they watched it live, unexpectedly, without warning. So did the program's anchors, who were themselves shocked, initially uncomprehending, appalled.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

The state’s transit administrator admitted this week that he used a screen name other than his own to comment on The Hartford Courant website. Governor Dannel Malloy said the official shouldn’t have done it – but said he doesn’t think the state has a social media policy for its employees, either.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

As the $567 million bus-only corridor between Hartford and New Britain began operating this spring, state officials worked behind the scenes to shape public opinion of the project that has been a lightning rod for criticism because of its cost.

The public relations campaign to rally support for the 9.4-mile CTfastrak involved Michael Sanders, the Transportation Department's transit administrator, who suggested in an email that he would use a "stage name" to post a comment on a newspaper website.

Updated at 2:46 p.m. ET

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and the NFL appeared in a Manhattan court today to update a federal judge on whether both sides are any closer to resolving a dispute over the quarterback's pending four-game "deflategate" suspension.

The public portion of the hearing lasted approximately 80 minutes before U.S. Judge Richard Berman met separately with Brady and league officials in private.

It's been less than a year since a domestic violence scandal erupted in the National Football League. The infamous Ray Rice video from last September and the league's mishandling of the case plunged the NFL into an unprecedented crisis.

It also spurred the league into action after years of doing little or nothing about the problem of domestic violence. The problem continues, and so do the efforts to fight it.

Keith Allison / Creative Commons

The public now has more information to decide whether New England quarterback Tom Brady was truthful about deflated footballs.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Pushing the line of ethics is nothing new in politics. That is part of the reason voters are frustrated when it continues to happen. Former Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim is hoping to return to his former office after a stint in prison on corruption charges. The former house Republicans chief of staff faces up to 15 months in prison for collecting kickbacks. And the Connecticut Democratic Party is trying to avoid complying with a subpoena issued by state election officials.

Heather Brandon / WNPR

The city of Hartford will soon have an election monitor.

Secretary of the State Denise Merrill has appointed Litchfield attorney and longtime Connecticut League of Women Voters leader Christine Horrigan to the position, created last month by the General Assembly.

Cloe Poisson / Courtesy of The Hartford Courant

After coming up short for the Democratic endorsement, Bridgeport mayoral candidate Joe Ganim is focused on the September primary. 

Hartford’s Democrats hadn’t even started their meeting to pick candidates for the fall, and the yelling had already begun.

And it was all about Franchesca Roldan.

mrceder / Creative Commons

Hartford's town committee meets Monday to endorse its slate. And it's unclear how it will respond to the recent news regarding Treasurer Adam Cloud. 

www.tOrange.us / Creative Commons

When the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission subpoenaed campaign finance filing records for Hartford Treasurer Adam Cloud, investigators didn't say what they were looking for. But the commission has recently stepped up its enforcement of a rule that governs how investments advisors contribute to public campaigns. 

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has subpoenaed campaign finance records from Hartford city Treasurer Adam Cloud, just days before the city's Democrats meet to endorse a candidate for the upcoming election.

YouTube

A Connecticut man who videotaped a homemade "drone" flying and firing a handgun in Clinton is now the subject of an FAA investigation.

The 14-second video shows a small hovering flying machine. It's black with four spinning propellers and there's a semiautomatic handgun strapped on top. As it hovers, it fires four shots into a wooded area before the video cuts out.

Gawker's two top editors are resigning over the removal of a story about the personal life of a media executive by the gossip website's management.

Tommy Craggs, Gawker Media's executive editor, and Max Read, the website's editor in chief, told staff members the story's removal last week "represented an indefensible breach of the notoriously strong firewall between Gawker's business interests and the independence of its editorial staff."

A federal court has ruled against Washington, D.C.'s, professional football team in a legal battle with Native Americans over the team's name.

United States District Judge Gerald Bruce Lee ruled that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office should cancel the team's trademark of the Redskins name because the name "may disparage" Native Americans.

Peter Patau / Flickr Creative Commons

For over a decade now, when we've heard about military drones, we've likely been hearing about the Predator-- that peculiar, pilotless aircraft, patrolling the deserts and preying on its targets below. Indeed the iconic image of this modern day killer and tales of its near-autonomous deeds have been featured in the news, magazines and even Hollywood movies.

Torchia Family

The family of a Meriden man who died in 2013 at age 56 is suing Derby nurse practitioner Heather Alfonso and the pain clinic where she worked, alleging that her rampant overprescribing of narcotics contributed to his death.

The Justice Department says it is investigating "possible unlawful coordination" by several major airline carriers. American, Delta, Southwest and United Airlines have all confirmed receiving letters from the Justice Department.

In a statement, American said the department "seeks documents and information from the last two years that are related to statements and decisions about airline capacity."

A United spokesman said the company is complying fully in regard to the probe.

Updated at 10:46 a.m. ET

The U.S. Supreme Court, in a 5-4 opinion, says the sedative used in Oklahoma's lethal injection cocktail does not violate the U.S. Constitution's ban on cruel and unusual punishment.

Here's the background to the case, in the words of SCOTUSblog:

Department of Agriculture

The goats were taken in January from the Butterfield Farm Company in Cornwall. They were said to be malnourished with many suffering from a number of highly-transmissible diseases. Now, the state has announced a plan to manage the herd of 96 animals that fell into state care following an animal-cruelty investigation.

Alex_str/iStock / Thinkstock

A Derby nurse practitioner identified as the state’s highest Medicare prescriber of potent narcotics has admitted taking kickbacks from a drug company in exchange for prescribing pain medication.

U.S. Navy / Creative Commons

Wendell Wallach predicts that crises in public health and our economy will increase dramatically in the next 20 years, likely a result of our rush to adopt new technologies before we've prioritized the risks we're willing to tolerate against the benefits we might gain.

The chairman of the Massachusetts Gaming Commission confirms he is under investigation by state ethics officials.

Commission Chairman Stephen Crosby told the Boston Globe he is cooperating with the investigation and has done nothing wrong.

The newspaper said the state ethics commission received a sworn statement alleging Crosby participated in the process to award a casino license in the greater Boston area despite publicly recusing himself because of personal ties with a casino landowner.

Amid a bribery scandal involving top executives of world soccer's governing body, FIFA President Sepp Blatter is resigning.

Blatter made the announcement on Tuesday during a press conference, just days after he easily won an election to a fifth term.

"It is my deep care for FIFA and its interests, which I hold very dear, that has led me to take this decision," Blatter said, according to FIFA's translation of his remarks.

Former Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert was indicted Thursday by a federal grand jury in Chicago. The Illinois Republican, 73, is charged with trying to evade cash withdrawal requirements, and with lying to the FBI about it.

Updated at 3:40 p.m. ET

Emails released Friday by the State Department appear to confirm Hillary Clinton's assertion that she received no classified information on her personal email account while she served as secretary of state. Still, some of the emails were classified at the FBI's request after the fact — something the White House says is not uncommon.

Citicorp, JPMorgan Chase, Barclays, The Royal Bank of Scotland and UBS AG have agreed to plead guilty to felony charges and pay billions in criminal fines, the Department of Justice says. The offenses range from manipulating the market price of U.S. dollars and euros to rigging interest rates.

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