Story Copyright Westfair Communications
Gov. Ned Lamont has directed two members of his administration to take control of the financial aspects of the Connecticut Port Authority, which has undergone leadership tumult over the past month.
Lamont directed Melissa McCaw, secretary of the Office of Policy and Management to take a “direct and active part” in the authority’s financial decisions, while David Kooris, deputy commissioner of the Department of Economic and Community Development, was tasked with hiring an independent firm to audit the agency’s fiscal and managerial practices. Kooris was named acting chairman of the port authority after board chairwoman Bonnie Reemsnyder stepped down amid reports that the agency gave her daughter $3,000 for six professional photographs displayed in its Old Saybrook office.
The authority has been in the midst of a leadership shakeup over the past several weeks. Prior to Reemsnyder’s resignation on July 24, Executive Director Evan Matthews was placed on administrative leave on July 20 for reasons that were not publicly announced.
Lamont has also announced the resignation of Scott Bates from the authority’s board. Bates served as its chairman since the agency’s inception in 2016, but resigned last month amid press reports of his approving no-bid consulting contracts to business associates. However, the governor’s office issued a statement praising Bates for an “outstanding record of selfless and honest service.”