Carl Curran no longer represents the City of Poughkeepsie, N.Y., but the former city council member still is costing the city plenty of money.
Poughkeepsie residents voted Curran out of office in YR-02 following a series of deals between the city and Curran’s brother, Bruce. The city council selected the bids of Bruce Curran, a local developer, over lower bids to develop three retail projects in Poughkeepsie.
While charges of nepotism never stuck to Carl Curran, the obvious conflict of interest was enough for voters to send Carl Curran packing in YR-02. However, it appears Curran’s cronies in city government threw their former colleague a lifeline last year.
Gotcha! has discovered that the Dutchess County Regional Chamber of Commerce employed Curran as an “economic development consultant” from October YR-01 through the present.
Curran received an annual salary of $80,362 for his “consulting work,” though it isn’t clear what he did to warrant that sum. A number of sources in Poughkeepsie told Gotcha! that Curran’s work with the Chamber was “minimal at best.”
Curran could not be reached for comment, while Chamber spokeswoman Lisa Burnside declined to comment. But it’s not hard to connect the dots in this scenario.
Curran and city councilman Kevin Lathrop are old buddies, and Lathrop’s wife, Maureen, is a senior vice president at the Chamber. Lathrop voted for Bruce Curran’s bids in the past, and it seems clear the back scratching between Kevin Lathrop and Carl Curran continues in Poughkeepsie.
The mayor of Torrington, Conn., appears to have used his city-issued credit card as a personal piggy bank for all kinds of unauthorized purchases.
Faced with continued budget constraints, the Torrington City Council has audited the use of city credit cards as one of many ways to trim the budget in the face of another anticipated shortfall.
Mayor Richard Walton, according to sources familiar with the process, used his credit card for purchases ranging from high-end restaurants to alcohol from area liquor stores. Walton also allegedly used his credit card for clothing purchases at Nordstrom and four-star hotel rooms across the state.
The city council approves credit card expenditures and purports to require itemized receipts for all purchases. However, it appears the city council has rubber stamped Walton’s purchases for the past two years.
A Torrington spokeswoman said city credit cards are only used for “city purposes, conferences, and pre-approved travel” and Torrington would “dutifully investigate” the latest round of allegations which it found “very troubling.”
No word on whether any of this will adversely affect Walton, who has twice won re-election and has two years remaining on his current term. It could all end up business as usual in corrupt Connecticut.
Massachusetts Representative Linda Maxwell uses her campaign contributions as a personal rainy day fund, according to a source with inside knowledge.
That source told Gotcha! this week that Maxwell, a Republican from Wakefield, Mass., has consistently used campaign finances to pay her personal credit card bills since voters elected Maxwell to the U.S. House of Representatives in YR-04.
The source, who spoke on a condition of anonymity, said Maxwell has expensive tastes in antiques and has turned to her campaign finances to fund the interest during her time in Washington DC. The source challenged Maxwell to prove those credit card expenditures were “campaign-related expenses.”
Maxwell declined to comment to Gotcha! but called the allegations “a baseless political attack” in a release.
Doddville Police Chief Charles Wilbur announced Tuesday he will retire at the end of the year.
While Wilbur has served the police department for 32 years, eight of those as police chief, his “retirement” comes in the wake of accusations his department juked violent crime statistics the past two years.
In June, five former and current Doddville officers told Gotcha! that to keep crime numbers low, officers convinced crime victims not to file charges, underreported the value of stolen goods to avoid larceny charges, or downgraded serious felonies to misdemeanors.
This smoke-and-mirrors routine resulted in five- and three-percent drops in violent crime the past two years.
The accusations prompted City Councilwoman Laura McGraw to head an investigation of the Doddville Police Department. While McGraw officially found evidence supporting the allegations to be “inconclusive,” Wilbur’s pending retirement seems to indicate a preference from Doddville officials that Wilbur leave and take the scandal with him.
Since the news broke in June, violent crime in Doddville has risen one percent compared to this time last year. In reality, it’s likely been the same all along, but with Wilbur’s veneer stripped away, we should get a better idea of what’s actually happening on Doddville’s streets.
Four more officers have come forward with accusations that Doddville Police Chief Charles Wilbur directed his department to underreport crime the past two years.
Three weeks ago, Gotcha! revealed a Doddville officer’s assertions that Doddville’s drop in violent crime the past two years was really a smoke-and-mirrors routine. The officer, who spoke on a condition of anonymity, said to keep crime numbers low, officers convince crime victims not to file charges. Other times, the officers underreport the value of stolen goods to avoid larceny charges or downgrade serious felonies to misdemeanors.
Three more Doddville officers — one current and three former — have corroborated those accusations, confirming that Doddville’s five- and three-percent drops in violent crime the past two years resulted from underreporting those crimes.
While Wilbur has vehemently defended his department, these latest accusations have rattled the long-time police chief. Wilbur has declined to speak to the media, hiding behind “No comment.”
However, these accusations have caught the attention of City Councilwoman Laura McGraw, who vowed to investigate the allegations.
Connecticut Governor Alan Henninger apparently will escape his latest scandal unscathed.
On Friday, Valerie Sommerville, a member of Henninger’s staff, and Bruce Mowry, the Connecticut official in charge of the purchase and upkeep of state vehicles, both resigned. Their resignations came in the wake of Gotcha!’s revelations that Henninger’s nephew Thomas Perkins operated a shell company that received kickbacks from auto parts suppliers that sold replacement parts to the state.
Sommerville and Mowry both apologized and resigned for their role in the scandal, each asserting the Governor had no knowledge of the situation. Their fall-on-you-sword mentality apparently satisfied internal investigators, who cleared the Governor of any wrongdoing.
“I hope this brings this unfortunate chapter to a close,” the Governor said in a release Monday. “My office will continue to adhere to stringent ethical standards, and corruption will not be tolerated.”
The Governor declined further comment.
However, multiple sources said that tolerating corruption is exactly what the Governor did with regard to Perkins and his shell company, Nutmeg Auto Parts Supplier. Those sources, who spoke on a condition of anonymity, repeatedly asserted that the Governor directed other state employees to work with Thomas.
Thomas received about a five-percent kickback on each purchase Connecticut made from auto part suppliers Thomas worked with. Nutmeg has supplied Connecticut with replacement auto parts for the past three years.
Prior to founding Nutmeg, sources tell Gotcha! that Thomas had enrolled in and then dropped out of Connecticut State University and experienced two brief run-ins with the law — one for public intoxication and another for driving under the influence. Both charges were later dropped. Thomas has repeatedly declined to speak with Gotcha!.
Henninger currently is serving his second term as Connecticut governor. He has two years remaining on his term. Rumblings of corruption have hounded Henninger’s time in office, but thus far, his Teflon has done its job.
Doddville’s drop in crime could really just be a drop in ethics.
One current Doddville Police Department officer has told Gotcha! that Police Chief Charles Wilbur and his subordinates have pressured their officers to juke crime stats.
The officer, who spoke on a condition of anonymity, said, “With all of these cities talking about their lower crime rates, these guys feel like they have to drop (the crime numbers) every year to keep their jobs.”
According to the officer, Wilbur and company have pushed Doddville officers to underreport crime for the past two years. To keep crime numbers low, officers will convince crime victims not to file charges. Other times, the officers will underreport the value of stolen goods to avoid larceny charges or downgrade serious felonies to misdemeanors.
The anonymous officer said this type of thing happens “every day” in Doddville.
The proof appears to be in the reporting. Violent crime officially dropped in Doddville five percent in YR-03 and three percent last year. At the time, Wilbur chalked up those drops to “increased police presence and smarter law enforcement strategies.”
On Friday, Wilbur maintained those drops in crime were legitimate and bristled at any suggestion to the contrary.
“We don’t juke numbers here in Doddville. We fight crime,” Wilbur told Gotcha!.
However, the Doddville officer who spoke to Gotcha! reiterated that Wilbur feels the pressure to lower crime each year to save his job, and if that means underreporting crime, then so be it.
Juking crime statistics to make it appear crime is low is nothing new to police departments across the country — notably the New York Police Department. Maybe Doddville is growing up, taking a big city approach to its small city problems, wallpapering over the cracks that won’t go away.
The State of Connecticut has terminated its contract with Governor Alan Henninger’s nephew.
Last week, Gotcha! revealed that Nutmeg Auto Parts Supplier, a company owned and run by Governor Henninger’s nephew Thomas Perkins, was nothing more than a shell company. Under Perkins’s scheme, Perkins ordered replacement auto parts for Connecticut’s vehicles from local suppliers. Those local suppliers shipped the parts to the state and then sent a kickback from the suppliers’ profits to Perkins for his troubles.
Essentially, Nutmeg was nothing more than an unnecessary middleman that allowed Perkins to continue with the charade for three years.
The Governor announced last week that his Office was investigating the allegations of corruption, and today Henninger revealed the state terminated its contract with Nutmeg. The Governor adamantly denied having any knowledge of the state’s arrangement with Perkins and said he was “deeply sorry for the appearance of corruption.”
However, multiple sources tell Gotcha! that not only was the governor aware of the contract, he directed state employees to reach an agreement with Nutmeg.
“It’s pretty obvious this happened because of the Governor’s relationship with Perkins,” one source with inside knowledge of the deal said. That source requested anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the information.
It is unclear at this time if an internal investigation into the Governor’s role in this scandal will take place.
Alan Henninger’s ascent to the Connecticut Governor’s Office has been a profitable one for at least one member of Henninger’s family.
Gotcha! has learned that Henninger’s nephew Thomas Perkins has operated a shell company for the past three years that orders vehicle parts from other providers and then turns around and sells them to the state for a profit.
Perkins founded Nutmeg Auto Parts Supplier in July YR-04 and landed a government contract shortly thereafter, records show. Officially, Perkins’s company provided replacement parts for Connecticut vehicles. However, sources tell Gotcha! that all Perkins did was purchase the parts from other auto providers, which gave Perkins a small kickback from the profits generated by each sale.
“Essentially the state is paying Perkins as an unnecessary middleman,” a source who requested anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation told Gotcha!. “And the governor is aware of this arrangement.”
Nutmeg Auto Parts doesn’t have office space in Connecticut; its phone number appears to be Perkins’s cell phone, and Nutmeg’s address is a Hartford PO Box number. Sources tell Gotcha! Nutmeg doesn’t have any other clients besides the State of Connecticut.
Perkins did not return numerous calls. Meanwhile, the Governor’s Office released the following statement:
“Governor Henninger takes any allegations of corruption seriously and will thoroughly investigate these charges. The Governor will not have further comment until the investigation is complete.”
Henninger currently is serving his second term as Connecticut governor. He has two years remaining on his term. Gotcha! will continue to investigate this story.
One local judge took it easy on a local meth dealer, and for good reason: that meth dealer is the nephew of the judge’s clerk.
Doddville police arrested Thomas Baker, 19, in September on suspicion of selling methamphetamine following a controlled buy in south Doddville. Following the buy, police searched Baker’s car and found 11 ounces of meth along with scales and plastic baggies. Eleven ounces of meth is worth about $10,000 on the street.
Prosecutors charged Baker with the sale of any amount of an amphetamine type substance by a non-drug dependant person, which carries a maximum punishment of 20 years in prison. Baker pled guilty before Connecticut Superior Court Judge Lee Williams on Oct. 4 and was set for sentencing before Williams on Oct. 18.
Curiously, Judge Williams did not recuse himself. Sources tell Gotcha! that Baker’s aunt Beverly Kellogg clerks for Judge Williams. When asked about this connection, Judge Williams said it would be “inappropriate to comment on a pending case” but assured Gotcha! of his ethical standards and neutrality in “all cases.”
What truly seemed inappropriate was the sentence Judge Williams gave Baker — five years of supervised probation. Sources tell Gotcha! that first-time offenders in that situation typically receive some sort of prison sentence.
But perhaps Baker’s family connections made probation more appropriate.