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Names revealed of Connecticut Port Authority employees who received illegal gifts

State Pier in New London, Conn.
Connecticut Port Authority
State Pier in New London, Connecticut.

The names of two Connecticut Port Authority employees who received illegal gifts from a vendor seeking business in 2017 and 2019 have been revealed in a letter to state legislators.

State Senate Minority Leader Kevin Kelly and State Senator Paul Formica, R-East Lyme, discovered that the port authority’s former executive director, Evan Matthews, and current employee Andrew Lavigne received illegal gifts from Seabury LLC, including hockey tickets, food, drinks and an overnight stay at a Greenwich club.

Formica said the identity of a board member remains a mystery.

“It didn’t say if he was asking past board members and we need to find out whether or not that board member voted for the Seabury contract and payouts and took part in this activity,” he said.

The legislators pressed the port authority for the names after the Office of State Ethics settled with Seabury LLC, as well as fining the New York-based vendor $10,000, but refused to identify the people involved.

Authority chairman David Kooris named the employees in the letter, but is conducting an internal inquiry into the name of the port authority board member involved.

Seabury LLC is also under investigation by the state Attorney General’s Office for a success fee of over half a million dollars they were paid by the port authority. In exchange, the vendor found a new harbor management company for the redevelopment of the State Pier in New London.

“The public has to be made aware of what board member you know received these gifts,” said Kevin Blacker, a longtime critic of the authority who pushed for the release.

An award-winning freelance reporter/host for WSHU, Brian lives in southeastern Connecticut and covers stories for WSHU across the Eastern side of the state.