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Scandal rocked CT Port Authority to get oversight from Airport

PortandTerminal.com, February 1, 2020

HARTFORD, CT – The Connecticut Airport Authority (CAA) on Wednesday agreed to take on an advisory role to the Connecticut Port Authority, a quasi-public agency that’s been accused of mismanagement and improper spending.

READ: Audit details gross mismanagement at Connecticut Port Authority

CAA board members voted Wednesday to assist the state Office of Policy and Management in helping oversee the Port Authority, by providing advice on best practices related to management, policies and financial systems, said Connecticut Airport Authority Executive Director Kevin Dillon.

An earlier audit that had been conducted on the Port Authority found that it had not adopted required policies and procedures, weren’t able to effectively keep track of money, had an incomplete employee manual, a bad records management system, and overspent on travel, meals, entertainment and legal fees. 

“The report is incredibly alarming and illustrates the improper manner in which the Connecticut Port Authority was operating” 

Sen. Carlo Leone, Transportation Committee co-chair

Bonnie Reemsnyder, chair of the Connecticut Port Authority’s board, resigned following news reports about the authority’s expenditure of $3,250 to purchase photographic office art from her daughter through a decorator. Scott Bates, who approved the purchase of the art and also serves as Deputy Secretary of the State, also resigned his seat on the board.

READ: Director of Connecticut Port Authority suspended with pay

“We’re going to be interacting with the Port Authority staff to compare notes as to how they’re doing business, and we’ll be able to offer them suggestions on different improvements we think they can make,”  Connecticut Airport Authority Executive Director Kevin Dillon said.

The advisory role for the Airport Authority, which still needs an official sign off, would last until June 30, and likely wouldn’t be renewed after the Port Authority hires an executive director.

Gov. Ned Lamont ordered an overhaul of the Port Authority last summer after media reports exposed the group’s lavish spending and mismanagement.

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