The legislature’s General Administration and Elections Committee expects emails back before the end of the week that it will use to determine whether M. Lisa Moody, the governor’s chief of staff, told the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth at a legislative hearing this past May. Sen. Edward Meyer, D-Guilford, co-chairman of the committee, said Tuesday that the Department of Information Technology was searching for emails from key figures in the committee’s investigation.
The committee considered reopening its investigation last week when it learned through newspaper reports that a memo regarding state ethics guidelines Moody violated, but couldn’t recall reading, turned up with her handwriting on them. “What I did was wrong,” Moody said during the hearings in May. “And had I known, I certainly would not have done it.” Click here to read the May 16 story.Meyer said the committee will hand over any new information it obtains over to the Chief State’s Attorney, Christopher Morano, who last week expressed interest in conducting a preliminary review of the accusations based on media reports of the new documents. In a letter to the committee chairman Friday, Morano wrote, “when information of potential wrongdoing comes to the attention of this office, where appropriate, we have the authority and duty to investigate.“During the investigation this May, Rell firmly told Meyer to drop the investigation. Meyer confirmed the incident, but didn’t go into the details Tuesday. He said he never intended on talking about what Rell told him that day, but two sources in the governor’s own office told a reporter from the Hartford Courant about the conversation.Could this have been the same woman who Meyer said called and congratulated him on Election night two years ago when he ousted Republican Bill Aniskovich of North Branford? Aniskovich had made it know he aspired to higher political office within the Republican party and likely would have posed competition to a Rell’s campaign for governnor. Rell’s campaign spokesman, Rich Harris said Friday that Rell has expressed her complete confidence in Moody. He said Lisa made a mistake, she’s been punished for it and the governor “has moved on.” In addition, to the extent she has been able to cooperate with the committee she has, Harris said. He said while it’s unfortunate the Moody situation is being played out the way it is, “The governor is moving on.“But is she?The last time Democrats saw Rell lose her temper was when the legislature decided not to support her Supreme Court Chief Justice nominee, Justice Peter T. Zarella. One witness to the meeting between Rell, who showed up with her now former chief counsel Kevin Rasch, and Judiciary Committee Co-Chairman and Democratic Senate leadership, said they had never seen the governor swear before. There’s also the recent staff reassignments and departures, such as Rasch and Communications Director John Wiltse. Rasch went back to private practice and Wiltse ended up as Deputy Commissioner of Veterans Affairs, a post that hadn’t been filled since 1997.Before Rasch and Wiltse there were a number of other employees close to the investigation that were reassigned. First to go was Rachel Rubin, Rell’s first Special Ethics Counsel. Rell announced in April that Rubin, will return to her full-time position as Director of Compliance for the University of Connecticut. Then there was Brenda Sisco, who, in June, after more than a decade in the Governor’s Office of Legislative Affairs, is now Deputy Commissioner of the Department of Administrative Services. Sisco was the employee Moody reduced to tears when she questioned Moody’s distribution of the invitations. Next there was Anna M. Ficeto, who left DAS in March to become Rell’s new Deputy Chief of Staff. Now Ficeto, the part-time special ethics counsel who replaced Rubin a month later becomes the governor’s deputy chief of staff under Moody.