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The Day – Formica, Kelly call for audit and public hearing on school financing program

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The Day - Formica, Kelly call for audit and public hearing on school financing program

State Senate Republican Leader Kevin Kelly, R-Stratford and Senate Republican Leader Pro Tempore Paul Formica, R-East Lyme, are calling for a state audit and public hearing on the state’s school construction financing program.

Kelly and Formica wrote to Connecticut State Auditors and Democratic leaders with the request in light of federal authorities requesting documents associated with the projects overseen by Konstantinos “Kosta” Diamantis, former head of the state’s Office of School Construction Grants and Review.

A federal Grand Jury issued a subpoena in October requesting documents associated with Diamantis, who as part of his duties as deputy secretary in the Office of Policy and Management led state oversight of the Connecticut Port Authority’s $235 million State Pier reconstruction project.

While it is unclear what federal authorities are specifically investigating, they requested documents associated with school projects, hazardous materials projects and the State Pier improvement project. Diamantis was involved in numerous municipal school construction projects that include New London’s high school and middle school, with costs totaling more than $150 million.

“Connecticut has a responsibility to ensure that taxpayer sacrifices are always respected,” Kelly and Formica said in a statement.

“An audit is vital to immediately identify and correct any breaches in public trust and begin a long process to rebuild public confidence. The legislature must also seek transparency and demand answers for the people we represent. Lawmakers have long raised concerns about the Governor’s administration shifting management of the school construction financing program from the Department of Administrative Services to the Office of Policy and Management.

The two Republican leaders said the reported federal investigation “has tarnished the reputation of this vital financing program intended to support schools across the state. We must demand transparency, accountability, and answers to root out any wrongdoing and begin to rebuild public trust.”

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