Based on documents released Wednesday by Gov. M. Jodi Rell it looks as if Department of Transportation Commissioner Joseph Marie’s departure had little to do with her administration winding down and more to do with harassment allegations.
Marie’s resignation came as a surprise to lawmakers and as more revelations of his abrupt departure were unearthed, it became clear there was more to the story than was being told.
“My office was contacted by a person representing a DOT employee who had alleged inappropriate behavior by the Commissioner. Legal counsel for the Governor’s Office conducted a preliminary inquiry into the allegation,” Rell said in a press release Wednesday evening. “No formal complaint of any kind was ever filed and no formal investigation was ever conducted.”
“However, at the conclusion of the preliminary inquiry, Commissioner Marie was offered an opportunity to resign and he did so,“ Rell said. “I moved expeditiously in seeking this resignation – first and foremost, to end any alleged inappropriate and unacceptable behavior, and also to resolve the situation in a way that was respectful to the employee involved and all of the people affected, including innocent family members.”
Upon his departure June 30, Marie signed a stipulated agreement in which Marie indicates his “desire to voluntarily resign,” as of July 29, almost three weeks after he was locked out of DOT headquarters and shut out of his state email.
As part of the agreement Marie must not contact any current or former state employees and will not be allowed to file a job discrimination action against the state for any reason. And if he disparages the Rell administration or the state in any way his resignation “in good standing” will be revoked and instead the governor will indicate his dismissal was due to his inappropriate behavior.