Reemsnyder Issues Unequivocal Defense, Misses Port Authority Hearing

OLD LYME – In a letter to the committee submitted in lieu of appearing at a hearing of the state legislature’s Transportation Committee, Old Lyme First Selectwoman Bonnie Reemsnyder responded to critics of her tenure as finance chair and brief tenure as board chair of the Connecticut Port Authority. Reemsnyder asserted her innocence of any wrongdoing in a strongly worded statement. “I am sorry if anyone has been disappointed by or upset over the media accounts of this matter, but can assure you and the citizens of this state that I have not behaved improperly in this instance or otherwise

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Connecticut Port Authority Officials Absent as Transportation Committee Holds Hearing

HARTFORD — With three key officials missing from Monday’s Connecticut Port Authority hearing, legislators and the public were left with more questions than answers about a host of issues, including the quasi-public agency’s finances, wind power negotiations and personnel matters.  Co-chairs of the General Assembly’s Transportation Committee, Roland Lemar of the House and Carlo Leone of the Senate, led the six-hour “informational forum” before an audience of about 80 people, including staffers from the state’s Auditors of Public Accounts, the Office of the Governor, and the Connecticut Port Authority. Absent from the hearing were: Scott Bates, chair of the port

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Editorial: Unresolved Questions and Today’s Port Authority Hearings

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Twelve weeks ago, someone filed a whistle-blower complaint alleging some sort of misdoings regarding Connecticut Port Authority finances. At the time, Scott Bates was board chair of the Connecticut Port Authority. Bonnie Reemsnyder was finance committee chair. Evan Matthews was executive director. Gerri Lewis was office manager and ethics compliance officer. All have since departed. First, Bates stepped down as chair. He was replaced by Reemsnyder. Gerri Lewis was fired by Matthews. Matthews was then placed on leave. Then Reemsnyder resigned, and finally Bates. It’s frankly damning that twelve weeks later no one has been able to provide a half-plausible

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Port Authority Officials Not Expected to Attend “Informational” Hearings on Tuesday

Termed a “forum” on the meeting agenda, the scheduled Connecticut Port Authority hearings on Tuesday in Hartford will be informational in nature and most likely will not involve questioning of port authority officials, according to one state official.   “People are expecting it to be sort of a Capitol Hill inquisition — I think they are under the wrong impression,” said Roland Lemar, House chair of the General Assembly’s Transportation Committee, in a phone interview Wednesday.  Lemar co-chairs the Transportation Committee, which is holding the forum, with Senate Chair Carlo Leone. Both will present remarks on Tuesday. A presentation by the

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Editorial: Six Questions for the Connecticut Port Authority

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It seemed unlikely that Old Lyme First Selectwoman Bonnie Reemsnyder would have the last word with her announced resignation from the board and as chair of the Connecticut Port Authority following a growing media storm sparked by news that more than $3000 of public money was spent to purchase artwork by Erin Reemsnyder to decorate the authority’s Old Saybrook offices. Now that Gov. Ned Lamont has joined Republicans and Democrats, including State Sen. Cathy Osten (D-Sprague), State Sen. Heather Somers (R-Groton), State Rep. Devin Carney (R-Old Lyme), in calling for hearings on the matter, I’d like to cautiously put forward

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Newly-Elected Connecticut Port Authority Chair Reemsnyder Resigns over Misuse of Funds

At a special meeting of the Connecticut Port Authority in Hartford Wednesday, newly-elected chair Bonnie Reemsnyder resigned following a number of questions about financial and personnel issues dating back to at least 2016. “Bonnie resigned as chairman at the outset … and indicated her intention to resign from the board following today’s meeting,” said David Kooris, Deputy Commissioner of the Department of Economic and Community Development, formerly vice chair of the authority and the new acting chair, at the meeting.  Shortly after her announcement to the board, Gov. Ned Lamont released a statement calling for her resignation for actions that he

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Editorial: On Reemsnyder’s Resignation from the Connecticut Port Authority

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I take no pleasure in First Selectwoman Bonnie Reemsnyder’s
resignation from the Connecticut Port Authority (CPA), nor in the remarkably abrupt
change in coverage from The Day that would end her brief tenure.

That ‘news’ columnist David Collins chose only yesterday to
notice that Ms. Reemsnyder had a professional background in daycare, rather than
in transportation or finance, speaks as much to the performance of The Day as
to the performance of the quasi-public agency ...

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Port Authority Funding in Doubt After Green Light

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OLD LYME — Contradictory statements from town and state agency officials have raised further doubts about the status of $256,000 in legacy state funding for the Lieutenant River project on Halls Road in Old Lyme — funds that at least one town commissioner believes were green-lighted months earlier by the Connecticut Port Authority.  The funds were left over from a $1.6 million Connecticut Department of Transportation (CTDOT) grant given to Old Lyme in 2015 for dredging in the Black Hall and Four Mile rivers. In 2016, the newly-created port authority assumed oversight of legacy maritime grants, including the dredging funds

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Editorial: New London’s Seat at the Table

Over the last two weeks, I have spent nearly 2 ½ hours with New London Mayor Mike Passero. I spent another hour with Tony Sheridan, President and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce of Eastern Connecticut. I have read testimony by the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities (CCM) regarding Senate Bill 986. I can also rely on simple fairness and commonsense.

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