Pay raise scandal investigated

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (WTNH) -- There's been a renewed call for a legislative investigation into the pay raise scandal in the state higher education department.

A new interim president is expected to be in place later this week following two high level resignations on Friday.

One Republican leader says there are just too many questions not to move forward with some kind of investigation.

Governor Malloy toured a Bridgeport elementary school Tuesday afternoon, but it was the mess at the state's newly merged higher education system that is continuing to reverberate at the Capitol.

"These guys went and then screwed it up by doing something that they shouldn't have done, or should have known better," Malloy said, "and that's why they're...they ultimately were held accountable."

He's talking about Public College and University system president Robert Kennedy, and his vice president Mike Meotti, who both resigned on Friday following disclosure that they approved, without authority, over a quarter million dollars in pay raises, including a $48,000 raise for Meotti.

"When did you find out that these raises had gone out," asked News 8's Mark Davis.

"When we heard from the press is exactly when we found out and within days...resignations were accepted," Malloy said.

"Did you ask for the resignations of Meotti and Kennedy," asked Davis.

"Let's just say that they came about," Malloy replied.

Malloy points out that the merger of the state universities and community colleges has resulted in over $5 million in savings. It has been badly muddied by the scandal.

"We, as a legislative body, approved what was the most historic, massive, reorganization of higher education," said Rep. Larry Cafero, "we need to know what's going on and we don't have those answers yet."

The Board of Regents for Higher Education has called another emergency meeting for Wednesday for a special committee to look into the pay raises and other issues, but Cafero is renewing his call for an investigation by the legislature.

"The fact that the Governor's office, at a time when we're trying to understand our budget, which is in deficit, would have no idea that a quarter of a million dollars had been given out since January...that's a question that needs to be answered," said Cafero.

"Well, if you remember, I wanted to have more control over that part of government and the legislature, including the Republicans, wouldn't give it to me," said Malloy.

Cafero says further questions, like why Kennedy was allowed to spend six weeks out of state, while running the system, and if the 12 community college presidents were actually asked to leave, must be addressed.

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Connecticut (change)

Connecticut has 169 cities and towns, which serve as the fundamental local political subdivision of the state. Connecticut is the 5th of the original thirteen United States.
Offices & Officials

Governor: Dan Malloy
Lieutenant Governor: Nancy Wyman
Attorney General: George Jepsen
State Treasurer: Denise L. Nappier

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