Mismanagement at the Connecticut Port Authority has damaged the reputations of key players and undermined legislative confidence in the young quasi-public agency at a key juncture, but state auditors testified at a public hearing Tuesday the financial costs to the state appear to be limited. The legislature’s Transportation Committee conducted an all-day hearing into the operations of an agency in disarray: Its executive director, Evan Mathews, is on leave, and two recent board chairs, Scott Bates and Bonnie Reemsnyder, have resigned in quick succession following a scathing audit and press accounts of questionable contracting and hiring practices. Republican leaders called Tuesday for Bates, whose position as chairman of the authority board was part-time and unpaid, to at least temporarily step down from his full-time appointive post as the deputy secretary of the state. Lawmakers have questioned the circumstances surrounding the $3,000 purchase of sound-insulating panels decorated with photographs by Reemsnyder’s daughter for the authority’s new offices in New London, while auditors found that the authority had operated in its first two years without the most basic of financial controls or personnel rules. “I cannot think of another quasi [public agency] that would be in this position,” said John Rasimas, the… Read full this story
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