OXFORD - In his first public comments on an ongoing controversy, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said Monday that multiple charges by Republican gubernatorial contender Tom Foley are “factually incorrect” on conflicts of interest by former staff members and a state commissioner.
Malloy, who has avoided talking about Foley recently, repeated several times that he needs to focus on his fulltime position as governor of the state.
“I’ve got a job to do,” Malloy told reporters who had gathered at the Waterbury – Oxford Airport for an unrelated event. “I suppose he’s got his job to do. He wants to be governor. But I’ve got that job right now. I’m going to concentrate on what I’m supposed to do.”
When asked by a television reporter if allegations about a former staff member and a current commissioner are incorrect, Malloy said, ”Yes. They are factually incorrect. You guys can follow-up with my staff and go through all of that stuff. I don’t want to spend a lot of time talking about it. I’m the governor of the state of Connecticut. I’ve got a job.”
But Foley told Capitol Watch on Monday afternoon that he is not backing down from any of his charges. He said that Malloy’s denials were not categorical. Now, Foley is calling upon Malloy to release his federal tax returns, including all W-2 and 1099 forms, for the period from 2006 through 2010 to prove that he did not receive any money from entities associated with environmental consultant Dan Esty.
During a Sunday morning television appearance on WFSB’s “Face The State” program, Foley charged that Malloy had worked for or received compensation from a firm or entity associated with Esty, a longtime Yale University professor and environmental consultant who was later named by Malloy as the state environmental commissioner.
Foley said in an interview that he never said that Malloy was employed by Esty.
“I said he was being paid as a consultant or given something of value,” Foley told Capitol Watch. “What I said was that Esty himself or his consulting firm or some entity that he was affiliated with was providing income or something of value. For Esty to be appointed a commissioner would certainly look like payback. They’re not denying it. … It’s very easy for the governor to clear this up. He could release his tax returns from 2006 until 2010 and show all his W-2s and all his sources of income. There’s lot of ways of being paid without being an employee.”
In addition, Foley said he wants to see a report that he says Malloy was supposed to complete while working as an environmental consultant and senior director during the 2010 campaign for a company called Class Green Capital Partners. The firm was formed in 2008, and Malloy was still listed Monday as a “former colleague” on the company’s web site.
“He was hired to produce a report,” Foley said. “Where’s the report? … Show us the report. Sometimes these jobs are real jobs, and sometimes they’re not.”
Foley said that he would continue pursuing his charges of conflicts of interest in the Malloy administration.
“Absolutely,” Foley said. “The governor hasn’t addressed it directly. A strong leader wouldn’t be handling this through a spokesman or the party or another hack. The longer he goes without addressing it himself with strong evidence that these are not true, the more people are going to doubt what’s going on. Even if I’m right on only one or two of these things, I’ve made my point – the ethical standards of this governor are pathetically low.”
Malloy’s spokesman, Andrew Doba, reiterated his statement from Sunday that Foley had not proven his accusations and that he owes an apology to all of those involved.
Following Foley’s accusations on Sunday, the state Democratic Party called on him to release the criminal records from two times when he was arrested – once in 1981 and once in 1993. The charges were dropped both times, and Foley says they were long-ago incidents.
“Is that the best they can come up with?” Foley asked of the Democratic Party. “They’re not even pretending to defend the governor on this. This is amateur hour. When you don’t want to answer the question, change the subject.”
Since Foley is asking for Malloy to release his tax returns, he was asked what he would do if the Democratic Party or Malloy ask him to release his own tax returns.
“If they do, they’re trying to change the subject,” Foley said. “I don’t know Dan Esty. I can promise you I have not received any money of any kind from Dan Esty.”
When asked Monday if he had been more concerned when he first heard the allegations on Sunday, Malloy responded, “It’s annoying. But, you know, I’ve got a job to do. To be the governor of the state of Connecticut, you have to have the ability to focus and focus on what’s important in people’s lives.”
While Malloy had an environmental consulting job during the 2010 gubernatorial campaign, he said that Esty had nothing to do with helping him get that job.
Asked directly about Foley’s charge that he had worked for Esty or received compensation from him before Malloy named Esty as the state environmental commissioner, Malloy said, “Guys, I don’t even want to talk about this stuff. He is factually incorrect on the points that he is making and continuing to make. And now you guys have a job to do and show that he is factually incorrect. See you all later.”
Malloy would not comment on when he will make a formal announcement that he is officiallly running for governor.
“I’m not running for governor right now, thank you very much,” he said, adding, ”I’ll speak to that issue at some time in the distant future.”
Malloy’s comments at the Waterbury – Oxford Airport lasted three minutes.