Posted on November 8, 2021
HARTFORD – House Republican Leader Vincent Candelora (R-North Branford) and Senate Republican Leader Kevin Kelly (R-Stratford) are renewing their calls for a public hearing on the executive branch’s policies overseeing the distribution of COVID-19 relief funds.
The request follows the alleged theft of over $600,000 in COVID-19 relief funds in West Haven. On Friday, it was reported that the city of West Haven also spent COVID-19 relief funds on a 20-person marching band and transportation, commemorative “thank you” coins for municipal employees, and Christmas decorations, instead of on relief and aid. At the same time the city has been under state oversight due to poor fiscal management.
“It’s now over two weeks since we called on our colleagues to join us in holding public hearings. The public demands and deserves answers from the Governor’s administration. Our questioning of this system should be a bipartisan effort by lawmakers to get answers and rebuild public trust,” said Sen. Kelly and Rep. Candelora. “The executive branch established a system to distribute COVID-19 relief funds without legislative input. Within that system, an alleged egregious misuse of funds occurred, in a town the state was already supposed to be watching very closely. We need to determine if lax practices were in place by the state, preferably in a bipartisan effort with full public transparency so that we can take immediate action to strengthen safeguards.”
“The fact that the FBI launched an investigation that led to an arrest is not a shining example of a successful system. It must be a call to action for the legislature to do its job and question the administration to ensure the right safeguards and protections are in place.”