© 2024 Connecticut Public

FCC Public Inspection Files:
WPKT · WRLI-FM · WEDW-FM · Public Files Contact
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

NY firm pays $10K state ethics penalty to settle CT case

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — A New York-based maritime company has agreed to pay a $10,000 civil penalty to Connecticut regulators who say the firm violated the state’s ethics rules by providing gifts to employees and a board member of the quasi-public Connecticut Port Authority, including NHL tickets, food, drinks and an overnight stay at a Greenwich club.

The Office of State Ethics, which announced the settlement Tuesday, said Seabury PFRA, LLC, in 2017 gave gifts totaling $800 to an unnamed port authority employee, the person’s spouse, and an unnamed port authority board member. The office said it occurred when the company was “seeking to develop a business advisory relationship” with the port authority.

In 2019, when Seabury had a consulting contract with the port authority and was seeking additional contracts, the company provided gifts totaling about $2,300 to an unnamed port authority employee and the person’s spouse, as well as two other employees, according to the settlement. The list of gifts included food, drinks, a leather handbag and the hockey tickets.

“Private companies that seek to engage state and quasi-public agencies for contracts must understand that fostering good will with state officials and employees cannot involve provision of impermissible gifts,” Office of State Ethics Executive Director Peter Lewandowski said in a written statement.

The port authority was created in 2014 and is responsible for marketing and coordinating development at Connecticut’s three deep-water ports.

In the settlement documents, which were agreed upon and signed by Seabury’s acting chief financial officer, the maritime company noted that it was reimbursed for the cost of the hockey tickets and certain food and drinks. But state ethics officials noted that those items were not reimbursed within 30 days of receipts, violating state regulations. Also, other gifts from Seabury were not reimbursed by the recipients, the agency said.

The Associated Press is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering, supplying a steady stream of news to its members, international subscribers and commercial customers. AP is neither privately owned nor government-funded; instead, it's a not-for-profit news cooperative owned by its American newspaper and broadcast members.

Stand up for civility

This news story is funded in large part by Connecticut Public’s Members — listeners, viewers, and readers like you who value fact-based journalism and trustworthy information.

We hope their support inspires you to donate so that we can continue telling stories that inform, educate, and inspire you and your neighbors. As a community-supported public media service, Connecticut Public has relied on donor support for more than 50 years.

Your donation today will allow us to continue this work on your behalf. Give today at any amount and join the 50,000 members who are building a better—and more civil—Connecticut to live, work, and play.

Related Content