Tom Foley’s Republican opponents called on him to approve the release of all documents related to two decades old motor-vehicle arrests—one in 1981 and one in 1993.
Foley’s rivals, Lt. Gov. Michael Fedele and R. Nelson “Oz” Griebel, sent out statements Friday reacting to a Courant article which detailed the two arrests.
“Today’s Hartford Courant article reveals very real and serious concerns about Tom Foley’s judgment, temperament and the significant personal baggage he brings to the race,” Griebel said. “Connecticut needs a leader with a proven track record of real results who can turn around our economy and restore fiscal sanity in Hartford, not a politically opportunistic millionaire whose record includes bankrupting companies and an arrest history of domestic violence allegations.”
“Mr. Foley needs to come clean and authorize the release of court records relating to his arrest and imprisonment and explain the discrepancies in the various accounts of his second arrest so voters can know the full truth about these troubling incidents,” Fedele said.
When he was arrested in June 1981, Foley who was 29 at the time, was charged with first-degree attempted assault and in 1993 he was charged with breach of peace following a domestic incident with his now former wife, Lisa Foley, The Courant reported.
“This latest episode only adds to Tom’s ever-growing list of liabilities,“ Griebel said. “In this spirit and the best interest of our party, I call on Tom to exercise full transparency and approve the release of sealed court records detailing his arrests, making his complete past known to the voters.”
“The charges against Mr. Foley are very serious and there remain many unanswered questions,” said Fedele. “The first test for any candidate for Governor is to be forthright and honest with the people.”
Shortly before 7 p.m. Friday evening Foley released the following statement explaining that the characterizations of the events by the Courant were accurate and shouldn’t be used against him in the race for governor.
“Jon Lender of the Hartford Courant published an article this morning about two motor vehicle related infractions I was involved in a number of years ago. One was in 1981 and the other in 1993. The one in 1981, when I was 29, involved a minor car accident in which the occupants of the other car filed a complaint resulting in my arrest. The case was later dismissed. The one in 1993 involved my former wife and we were both arrested. The charges were dropped in that case, too. I was candid with Jon Lender and he wrote a straight and fair article,” Foley said.
“These were unfortunate incidents and ones that I wish hadn’t happened. Both of these incidents came to light as a result of a letter my former wife wrote to the Governor’s office in 2002 at a time when our relationship was particularly strained. I first heard about the letter yesterday afternoon after it was leaked to the Hartford Courant. The circumstances of how a confidential document from the Governor’s office was leaked to the press and by whom raise serious questions.”
“My opponents have already tried to exaggerate these long ago incidents to gain advantage in the race. Their over-the-top attacks and mischaracterizations include that I was imprisoned, that I have not been candid about these events, that there are still unanswered questions, and that these incidents involved domestic violence. My opponents should be ashamed of their false and intemperate remarks which raise serious questions about their truthfulness and personal characters.In the 1981 incident I was retained in a police cell overnight until an attorney could arrive from New York City. Characterizing this as imprisonment is misleading and mischievous. I was frank and forthcoming with Jon Lender and there are no unanswered questions or discrepancies in my story. There was no suggestion in Jon Lender’s article that domestic violence was involved in either of these incidents and I categorically deny that any domestic violence occurred between me and my former wife at any time before, during, or after our marriage. To raise that specter publicly without any evidence is a shameful lack of fair play in the public domain.”
“In 2006, I was fully investigated for a Top Secret clearance and for confirmation by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. If these incidents were cause for concern about my temperament or character, I would not have received a clearance or been confirmed as a United States Ambassador.”
“I hope my opponents will soon see that the citizens of Connecticut are interested in a dialogue about the serious issues facing Connecticut and not events from long ago that have no bearing on who should be Connecticut’s next governor. I call on them to engage in a substantive dialogue about the issues and stop embarrassing our state with cheap attack politics.”