Fasano Statement on State Official Concerns re: Lottery Corp. Sweetheart Deal

May 12, 2017

Hartford – Senate Republican President Pro Tempore Len Fasano (R-North Haven) released the following statement regarding concerns raised by the Auditors of Public Accounts and State Comptroller in recent letters about the separation package awarded to the Connecticut Lottery Corporation’s former CEO Anne Noble following the reveal of significant fraud through the state’s 5 Card Cash Game. Today, the General Assembly held a second informational forum on this issue.

“For nearly a year I have worked with fellow lawmakers to question the actions of the Connecticut Lottery Corporation when this alarming severance package surfaced following the 5 Card Cash Game fraud. Recent letters from the state auditors and comptroller confirm that we were right to raise concerns and ask questions. The Lottery Corp. broke the public’s trust, and then tried to cover up the extent of their failures with a sweetheart deal that further shook the integrity of the entire agency and abused taxpayer dollars. The Lottery Corporation also actively tried to keep a fraud investigation ‘under wraps’ to hide the truth from state officials and the public. Those in charge of the lottery showed an astounding lack of competence and judgment by immediately installing the sitting Chairman of the Board as acting President which violates state statute and at first promising to pay him $4,000 a week while still paying the former CEO and only backtracking after realizing that such a move would violate state ethics laws. A pattern of inexcusable actions has severely damaged the lottery’s credibility and shows just how much quasi-public agencies have spiraled out of control. The state has a long road ahead to earn back the public’s trust that must involve significant reforms to shine more light on the state’s quasi-publics.

“I want to thank Senator Tony Guglielmo and Representative Joe Verrengia for organizing the hearings on this issue and ranking member Representative JP Sredzinski and fellow committee members for participating in these efforts. If it were not for lawmakers and the press asking questions, this whole situation would have remained clouded in secrecy. I will continue to work with lawmakers on both sides of the aisle to push for the truth and pursue significant legislative changes to restore transparency and earn back the public’s trust.”

This year, Sen. Fasano proposed Senate Bill No. 356 An Act Requiring Executive and Legislative Review of Certain Quasi-Public Agency Contracts and Agreements aimed at bringing more transparency to the state’s quasi-public agencies. This bill seeks to require that all quasi-public agency employment contracts, consulting contracts and separation agreements be submitted to the Attorney General for review and comment. It would also require that any of these contracts or agreements with an annual cost of over $100,000 also be submitted to the appropriate General Assembly committee for review.