Republican gubernatorial aspirant Tom Foley is not backing off from the controversial allegations he launched on Sunday during a television news interview.
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and his supporters have repeatedly denied the allegations since they were made, but Foley says the denials have not been specific. Foley, who lost to Malloy in 2010 in Connecticut’s closest race for governor in more than 50 years, has declined to reveal the names of any of the sources of his allegations.
Less than 45 minutes after Foley released his latest statement, state Democratic Party chairwoman Nancy DiNardo called once again for Foley to release the records for two times that he was arrested in 1981 and 1993. The charges were dropped in both cases, and Foley describes them as decades-old, minor incidents.
Since then, Foley was confirmed as the U.S. Ambassador to Ireland in 2006 and as a high-level administrator as director of private sector development for the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq in 2003 during the administration of President George W. Bush.
“There are no unreleased records,” Foley said in an interview. “This has already been fully vetted.”
Foley spoke again about his four allegations on Monday, and then he released the following statement on Tuesday afternoon:
“On Face the State on Sunday, I made four serious accusations of improper conduct in the Malloy administration. Despite the Governor’s tepid response that these allegations are “factually incorrect,” two of them were actually substantiated yesterday. So the Governor’s statement that these accusations are not true is….well, not true. The Global Strategies Group acknowledged that they received a contract from the Access Health CT, a government agency, a mere six months after Roy Ochiogrosso left the administration. Whether or not this contract was “competitively bid” doesn’t matter. A company with a partner who is a close lieutenant of the Governor getting a piece of government business so soon after leaving the administration leaves a foul smell and is, by reasonable ethical standards, improper.
“The Governor’s office and the UCONN Foundation have acknowledged that they paid for part of the Governor’s travel to Switzerland and China. What I said is that I believe the use of UCONN Foundation funds for the governor’s travel was an improper use of those funds. So there are no facts in dispute here, just opinions. Listen, if the governor wants to go to a ski resort in Switzerland to hang out with big shots while people in Bridgeport, Hartford and New Haven are struggling to find jobs, that is his decision, but he shouldn’t be making taxpayers and private supporters of UCONN pay for it.
“Dan Esty’s ‘lawyerly’ statement yesterday that he did not ‘employ’ the Governor does not address the claim that the governor was paid or provided something of value by Esty or a person or organization affiliated with him. I hope Mr. Esty will make a clearer statement denying the claim. The Governor’s statement on the Esty matter did not specifically deny the Esty connection and said only that Mr. Malloy was not employed by Mr. Esty. I call on the Governor to clarify whether or not he received something of value from Mr. Esty or anyone with whom Esty is affiliated. If the governor wants to settle the Esty issue quickly, all he has to do is release his tax returns from 2006 through 2010 and identify the sources of his income in those years. I call on Governor Malloy to do this.
Foley continued, “Governor Malloy has imposed much higher taxes on Connecticut residents while those same residents have lost 27,500 jobs since he became governor. The state last year had the worst economic performance of any state in the country. We have little to show for those economic sacrifices as our roads and bridges crumble and government services continue to decline. At times like these, we need strong leadership. Governor Malloy is not providing that leadership by leaving questions in citizens’ minds about ethical behavior in his administration. Nor is he providing good leadership by hiding behind his spokesman and surrogates. Governor Malloy owes the citizens of Connecticut an explanation directly from him and sooner rather than later.”
When asked in an interview if he would back off from the allegations after Malloy’s denials, Foley said, “Absolutely not. I’m already two for four. I was right about Roy Occhiogrosso’s firm. They’ve acknowledged he has this contract. … It stinks. It’s not OK.”
While Occhiogrosso’s firm, Global Strategy Group, did receive a contract, officials said that it was awarded properly under competitive bidding.
“On the UConn Foundation, I was right,” Foley said in an interview. ”The administration has acknowledged they paid for these trips. If the governor wants to go over to Switzerland and hang out with big shots and fat cats, he ought to pay for it himself.”
Malloy and his supporters have repeatedly said that Foley has not offered proof of his allegations. At the same time, Foley wants more proof on the denials, including the release of Malloy’s tax returns from 2006 through 2010.
State Democratic chairwoman Nancy DiNardo said, “On Sunday, Tom Foley made a bunch of wild accusations that are untrue, and he asked several questions, all of which were answered. Today I’m again calling on Tom Foley to answer the following questions, and to be specific. Not answers that sound like ‘I can’t remember,’ because anyone who’s ever been arrested knows exactly what they were arrested for and anyone who’s ever gone to court remembers exactly when that happened and what was said when they were there.
1) You were arrested on a felony charge: attempted first degree assault. When asked about that by a reporter your response was “…no one ever told me it was a felony offense.” Do you expect anyone to believe that your lawyer never told you that? And that when you went into court the judge didn’t tell you that? Question: did you know that you’d been arrested for a felony offense? If your answer is no, please provide the name of your attorney so that he or she can verify that. If your answer is yes, please tell everyone why you lied when you were first asked about it.
2) When you were asked about these arrests and why you didn’t disclose them on the forms you filled out to work in the George W. Bush administration you said you didn’t disclose the fact that you’d been arrested because you considered the incidents to be “minor.” Question: do you believe attempted first degree assault to be a “minor” offense?
3) When you were asked to release your arrest records, your response was that you don’t have them. When you were asked whether or not you would contact the local police department in the jurisdiction in which you were arrested you said you would not. Question: In the spirit of open and full disclosure, a concept you say you believe in, and in order to put any questions about what really happened to rest, will you now agree to contact the local police department and authorize them to release your arrest records? Question: If you won’t, will you promise to never again utter the words “open and full disclosure?”
When asked if the ongoing clash will lead to a standoff with both sides saying the other side does not have enough proof, Foley said, “If this is believed to be true, and I have multiple, credible sources, I don’t think he can say that I don’t have enough proof.”
Esty has denied Foley’s charges for several days, saying, “Neither I, nor my former consulting firm, employed or did business with Dan Malloy or Class Green, the firm he was associated with.”
When asked how long the charges and countercharges will continue, Foley said, “If the governor can’t show conclusively that these claims are untrue, it could go on for a long time.”