The State Elections Enforcement Commission voted in favor Wednesday of continuing its independent investigation into its settlement agreement with several political appointees who were instructed by Gov. M. Jodi Rell’s Chief of Staff M. Lisa Moody to distribute invitations to a Rell campaign fundraiser. Attorney Daniel Klau of Pepe and Hazard was hired by the commission April 28 to investigate the settlement agreement negotiated between Elections Enforcement staff, including Executive Director Jeffrey Garfield, and the 16 commissioners and deputy commissioners. The investigation was put on hold when the legislature’s General Administration and Elections Committee began its own investigation into the matter.
Albert Lenge, assistant general counsel at the Elections Enforcement Commission, said Wednesday that the investigation into whether staff’s conduct was consistent with previous findings and conclusions of the commission in this matter was put on hold at the urging of Lt. Gov. Kevin Sullivan who sits on the financial advisory committee. Lenge said “Sullivan felt it was ill-advised to go forward with the investigation pending the outcome of the legislative hearings,” so Klau’s investigation was put on hold May 12. On July 7 the commission received an invoice for services totaling about $13,200 for the work that Klau had done before his investigation was put on hold. Lenge told the commissioners Wednesday that they have to decide whether to go forward with the investigation. The legislature’s General Administrations and Elections Committee has failed thus far to issue a report on the matter, as news of new documents previously undisclosed in the case came to light. Elections Enforcement Chairman Stephen Cashman, said “I think we as a commission need to have finality.” The commission unanimously agreed to continue the investigation. Lenge said he sensed the investigation was almost finished and was optimistic Klau would be able to present his findings at the next meeting, Aug. 9.