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Sound Bites: Third fine issued for Connecticut Port Authority lobbyist

City of New London

It’s the start of a hectic long weekend for Henry Juan III, a former board member of the Connecticut Port Authority and founder of Seabury PFRA LLC.

Juan was fined $18,500 by the state Office of State Ethics to resolve allegations that he used his position to gain contracts from the quasi-state agency in charge with the redevelopment of State Pier in New London. 

Juan was appointed to the board in 2016 and later that year founded Seabury Maritime. The ethics investigation found that Juan attempted to influence staff and other members to benefit his new company in 2017 and 2018. In response, Juan admitted he had a conflict of interest.

However, Juan did not admit liability when signing the agreement with the Office of State Ethics. This is the third — and highest — fine against Seabury for lobbying. The company is also under review for receiving over $500,000 from the Port Authority for a “success fee” for finding a new port operator for State Pier.

Here’s a bite-sized look at what we’re hearing:

Nearly $3 million in federal funds will remediate the site of an Ansonia manufacturer. U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) announced the money Friday. The project will remove contaminated hazardous materials within the building and demolish the remaining structure of the SHW Casting Company.

Three beaches in Islip are closed to bathing. Bayport Beach and Corey Beach in Bayport and Sayville Marine Park Beach in Sayville have bacteria at levels in excess of acceptable criteria resulting from a nearby sewage discharge, according to the Suffolk County Department of Health Services. Officials say the bacteria-contaminated water can result in gastrointestinal illness, as well as infections of the eyes, ears, nose, and throat.

Nearly $9 million will purchase over two dozen zero-emission buses for Connecticut. The money from the Environmental Protection Agency goes to DATTCO Inc. to provide school transportation services for the Connecticut Technical Education and Career System. These new buses will be used in New Britain and eight surrounding communities.

Repaving of the Northern State Parkway and Northern Boulevard will begin next week. It’s part of a nearly $26 million state plan to fix potholes. Almost 40 lane miles of the Northern State will be resurfaced, starting from Huntington to Smithtown. Much of Northern Boulevard in Nassau County will be repaved, too.

Technology companies in Connecticut got a boost from the U.S. Department of Energy. Calcify dba Carbon Capture Machine in Fairfield and T2M Global in Brookfield received a combined $4.5 million to decarbonize cement production and improve energy efficiency, respectively. These were among 40 projects selected nationwide for $135 million.

Advisories are issued for 11 waterways in Connecticut. The state Department of Public Health found certain fish species contain high levels of PFAS chemicals. Residents are asked not to consume fish and shellfish caught in the Connecticut, Lower Farmington, Housatonic (near O’Sullivan’s Island in Derby), Natchaug, Willimantic, Shetucket, Naugatuck, Pequabuck, Still (Winchester), Scantic and Quinnipiac rivers.

A Bridgeport City Council member charged with threatening has rejected a plea deal. Alfredo Castillo was arrested nearly two years ago after he allegedly threatened and chest bumped the city’s public facilities chief at Wonderland of Ice. The plea offer would have reduced the misdemeanor charges to an infraction, which results in a fine. Now, he could face up to a year and six months in prison.

NYU Langone Health is suing Northwell Health over a branding issue. NYU Langone alleges Northwell used a similar shade of purple in its advertisements to confuse the competitors. The lawsuit said Northwell did not respond to a May 25 cease-and-desist letter. NYU Langone seeks undetermined damages and a permanent injunction barring Northwell from “confusingly similar advertising.” Northwell responded that owning the color purple for health care is “preposterous.”

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A native Long Islander, J.D. is WSHU's managing editor. He also hosts the climate podcast Higher Ground. J.D. reports for public radio stations across the Northeast, is a journalism educator and proud SPJ member.