Today's front page of the New Haven Register has an article about the Maguire Group, a company that has been in the news for several months, since being charged with not doing the inspection work the state contracted it to do on Interstate 84, and allowing enormous cost overruns. The state Department of Transportation (DOT) threw the Maguire Group off that job, but it still uses it on 27 other DOT projects. Attorney General Richard Blumenthal has filed suit against the Maguire Group, DOT is under attack by co-chair of the Transportation Committee Donald DeFronzo, and is about to be reorganized by Governor Rell. This is serious stuff, and it's been getting a lot of publicity.
What does this have to do with North Haven? Well, the Maguire Group was hired to do work relating to the Sackett Point Road bridge in North Haven. And four Maguire Group employees have already donated to the Kopetz for First Selectman campaign: John Treichel (VP, but listed as "engineer"), Alan Asikainen (VP of the water resources division, but listed as "engineer"), James Fritz (executive VP, but listed as "engineer"), and Sebastian Amenta (VP, but listed as "engineer"). None lives in North Haven. Each gave $250, a sizeable amount for a local candidate.
The supervising inspector in the I-84 project, William W. Fritz, is now First Selectman of Clinton. Fritz is the son of the Connecticut House Deputy Speaker Mary Fritz. Maguire contributor James Fritz might or might not be related.
The September 2005 Town Meeting include a vote on the $15 million Sackett Point Road bridge project, for which the Maguire Group was hired for design and inspection purposes. There was no breakdown of what I understand to be $2.5 million to be paid to the Maguire Group for this project, so we don’t know what the money was to be paid to them for. At that meeting, Public Works director Richard Branigan chose not to answer North Haven resident Doug Wood's questions about the bridge project. So we still don't know what work the Maguire Group was supposed to do, and therefore we will not be able to see if they did the required work, as they are accused of not doing on the I-84 project.
What was being hidden? And why? And why is the Kopetz campaign accepting money from four out-of-towners whose company is the center of a big controversy and is being sued by the Attorney General?
You can see why many towns do not allow contributions to candidates from firms that do business or want to do business with the town. It looks like bribery, especially when it comes from out-of-towners with a big and unclear town contract. Especially when their company is being sued by our state for millions of dollars.