Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said Thursday that he “probably shouldn’t have” allowed People Magazine to pay for his recent trip to Washington, D.C. that has caused days of controversy at the state Capitol.
Malloy reimbursed the magazine by writing a check for $1,234 for travel and other expenses for a 22-hour trip to Washington, D.C. that included attendance at the annual White House Correspondents Association dinner on Saturday night.
“I just decided to head the whole thing off rather than take away from the important work, for instance, on education reform that has to be done,” Malloy told reporters in comments that lasted less than two minutes outside the state Capitol early Thursday evening. “So we’re pretty much done with it.”
The remarks were the first that Malloy had made publicly since paying the reimbursement.
When a veteran reporter noted that his office’s written statement earlier Thursday had been “defiant” and not apologetic, Malloy said, “It’s not defiant. Listen, I work really hard, and I gave you a snapshot of some of the work I did. … This has taken on a life of its own, and I just thought it was better to end it.”
When asked if he had made “a bad political call,” Malloy said, “My staff makes a lot of decisions about where I go. This was thought, because of what we were trying to do on digital media, as well as public policy on other issues that were referenced in the press release, that this was a good opportunity. In retrospect, you know, probably shouldn’t have done it. Pretty straightforward.”
When asked by a television reporter if he would be asking for a formal opinion from ethics officials, Malloy said, ”No, I don’t think so. I decided to cut the whole thing off. I wrote out a check. That’s what I did.”
“Listen, there are important issues out there, really important. … This was becoming a sideshow, and I thought it was better just to head the whole thing off. OK? Thank you all very much.”
He said he could not talk long because he was headed to an event in Stamford, which he noted had been mentioned on his public schedule.