Senator McKinney Calls for the Establishment of Inspector General Office

February 28, 2003

State Senator John McKinney, R-Fairfield, testified before the legislature’s Government Administration & Elections (GAE) committee today in support of his bill to establish an office of Inspector General in the City of Bridgeport. According to Sen. McKinney, the newly formed office is necessary to eliminate government corruption and restore public trust in local government.

“It is time we as a state engage in a serious debate about government corruption. It is my hope that we will emerge from that debate united in our belief that we as a state must act now to eliminate such corruption and put in place a structure that will prevent it from happening again,” said Sen. McKinney.

In his testimony before the GAE committee, Sen. McKinney acknowledged Congressman Christopher Shays (R-4), who was unable to attend today’s public hearing due to inclement weather in Washington, D.C. “It was Congressman Shays who first spoke out about the need for an Inspector General in the city of Bridgeport as a means to root out corruption in city government,” said Sen. McKinney. “His crusade to clean up the corruption in his city is admirable, and he has convinced me that we as a state need to act.”

According to Sen. McKinney, the office of Inspector General would have broad authority to conduct audits and investigations and most importantly, receive and respond to complaints from employees, whose confidentiality is to be protected.

“This is not a new concept. Inspectors General exist at the national, state and even municipal levels of government. In fact, we once had such an office here in Connecticut,” said Sen. McKinney.

“We have all seen how municipal corruption and wrongdoing have robbed the people of Bridgeport of millions of city, state, and federal dollars, and countless more in lost opportunity. Ideally, the reforms necessary to rid city government of corruption and restore public faith and confidence in its own government would come from within. Those reforms are not forthcoming however. That is why I believe we have a responsibility to act – and act now – if for no other reason than to safeguard our investment in the city,” said Sen. McKinney.