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Connecticut News

Former Port Authority Officials Testify In Hartford

Danielle Wedderburn
The Connecticut Capitol Building in Hartford

Connecticut lawmakers have heard testimony from former leaders of the scandal-hit state Port Authority at a second informational hearing.

A former executive director and two former chairs of the CPA testified at the hearing.

Evan Matthews, the CPA’s former executive director, says his health played a significant part in his departure from the quasi-public agency earlier this year.

“On May 26th, 2017, I suffered a massive stroke, which should have killed me. And has left me with lingering paralysis on my left side. I am still recovering two and a half years later. Many of the contracting issues identified by the auditors in the second report were relayed to the CPA as reacting to this emergency, the loss of its executive director and sole employee.”

Matthews, along with Scott Bates and Bonnie Reemsnyder, both former chairs of the CPA, says the Authority failed in its duties because of a lack of employees and pressure over lease issues for the Port of New London.

State Senator Cathy Osten, a critic of the CPA, says the state also failed in its role when it set up the Authority.

“The State, when setting up the quasi of the Connecticut Port Authority, put the three of you in a position to make decisions in a fashion that did not allow a thoughtful discussion to happen. And I think we need to set up these organizations entirely before we do the work of the organization.”