MARCH 09, 2006
The Connecticut Governor’s office can’t seem to steer clear of political scandal. Less than two years after one governor resigned to serve a sentence in federal prison, the woman who replaced him is in hot water for violating election laws.
Sixteen top administrators in Governor Jodi Rell‘s administration were fined $500 each this week by the State Elections Enforcement Commission for violating state law by distributing invitations to subordinates for a December fund-raiser for Rell. The administrators include 13 heads of state agencies, from Leonard C. Boyle, a former federal prosecutor who is commissioner of the Department of Public Safety, to Linda J. Yelmini, the state’s former head of labor relations and now the commissioner of the Department of Administrative Services.
Many of Rell’s administration officials felt uncomfortable when her chief of staff, Lisa Moody, told them to pass out invitations for the fundraiser but only a few declined because it was interpreted as an order from the boss.
Rell, a republican, took office in 2004 after Gov. John Rowland resigned for his involvement in an ongoing fraud and conspiracy scandal. In December 2004 he pleaded guilty to conspiracy, mail and tax fraud and admitted taking more than $100,000 in vacations and chartered trips to Las Vegas from a contractor and a jet company that received state tax breaks. He was released from federal prison last month after serving a 10-month sentence.
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