State Capitol Police were notified Tuesday morning by phone that anthrax had been mailed to the governor’s office on Friday. The envelope with the return address was found and the mail room in the Legislative Office Building was closed as officials tested for the toxin. Initial tests, according to the email below, concluded that the substance tested negative for anthrax, but it takes 72 hours to be certain.
The Connecticut State Police Major Crimes Division is investigating the threat to the governor. Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) Hazardous Materials Division, CSP Emergency Services Unit, and the City of Hartford Health Department were notified and responded. Initial field test were conducted and produced negative results. The letter has been transported to the state police laboratory for further testing.
An email from Jim Tracy, executive director of Legislative Management, went out to all employees in the Legislative Office Building to let them know about the situation and give them instructions on where to bring the mail as the state awaits test results.
To: All Legislators, All Staff
Subject: Mail Threat
At 10:30 this morning we were notified that someone had called the governor’s office saying last Friday they had mailed an envelope to the governor that contained anthrax. The governor’s mail is processed by the legislature’s Mail Room on the first floor of the Legislative Office Building. A short time later, an envelope with the caller’s return address was discovered in the Mail Room. The State Police, the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) and the City of Hartford Health Department have all had representatives on site working with the State Capitol Police.
I would like to pass on the following information to you:
1. The State Police Department, DEEP and the City of Hartford Health Department all believe that this is a very low level threat and that the possibility of an actual problem is very minimal.
2. The envelope was quarantined immediately;
3. The envelope had already passed through the screening process at the Hartford Post Office without incident; they did not detect anything unusual. This is very good.
4. DEEP did a very preliminary test of the envelope with negative results. This is also very good.
5. The air handling units in the entire mail room area were turned off;
6. The staff that work in this area were told by DEEP and the City of Hartford Health Department that they could leave the Mail Room area and proceed in a normal fashion;
7. Incoming or outgoing mail that may have come in with this envelope has also been quarantined until we receive final lab results;
8. While we will probably receive preliminary lab results within the next 24-48 hours, it normally takes about 72 hours for a final report;
9. The Mail Room and the Copy/Supply Center will be off limits to everyone for the next several days.
10. New mail arriving will be delivered to offices as usual. Outgoing mail will be picked up as usual or it can be brought to Legislative Management in room 5100. Outgoing mail will be brought to the Post Office at 1:00 P.M. daily. Please try to limit the amount of mail sent out during the next several days.
11. We will not be able to routinely access any office supplies during this time period. Please try to borrow from your neighbors. If you have an emergency situation, please contact the purchasing unit in Legislative Management at extension 0100.
12. Please try to take care of all of your photocopy needs inhouse. If you have a problem, please call Legislative Management at extension 0100.
13. Daily Documents will be available outside the Bill Room adjacent to the ATM machine.