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Bipartisan Group Calls For Scrutiny Into Connecticut Port Authority

Courtesy of Connecticut Port Authority

The Connecticut Port Authority is under scrutiny again, this time from both political parties about spending at the quasi-public agency.

Democratic Senator Cathy Osten has proposed legislation that would disband the Port Authority and transfer their responsibilities back to the state transportation department

Osten said it’s time.

“We’ve been dealing with it for three years. ‘cause the project is an important project, we need to make sure that someone who handles hundred-million-dollar contracts or more, which the Department of Transportation handles on a regular basis when they’re building large bridges and other large pieces of infrastructure. It’s clear that we need someone that can handle that.”

The bipartisan complaints involve a multi-million-dollar deal to redevelop State Pier in New London for future offshore wind projects.

Connecticut Senate Republican leaders Kevin Kelly and Paul Formica have written a letter to Governor Ned Lamont and state prosecutors asking them to investigate the Connecticut Port Authority.

It comes after a watchdog group found that the Port Authority paid $700,000 in fees to a consultant to find a new operator for State Pier in New London.

Formica said it’s time for a full investigation.

“It seems pretty appropriate, there has been some public outrage as a result of this, building over the last few years. So, I’m hopeful that the Attorney General will make a decision that’s in the best interests of the State of Connecticut and just you know open up the books and see what’s going on,” Formica said.

In 2019, Republicans asked the Attorney General’s Office to investigate Port Authority contracts and the bidding process, but the request was denied.

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.