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Kosta Diamantis faces review board over status of his job with the state

Konstantinos Diamantis, the former deputy secretary at the Office of Policy and Management, testified at an elementary school in Hartford in 2018 when the district was consolidating schools, including Bulkeley High School.

The state Employee Review Board heard arguments Monday from a former high-ranking state budget official, who is trying to get his job back.

This proceeding was to determine if the board has the authority to review the situation.

Kosta Diamantis resigned amid a federal investigation into school construction contracts he oversaw, and an ethics review of the state's hiring of Diamantis' daughter. Shortly after he submitted his written resignation ‘effective immediately’ he asked to take it back. That request was rejected.

State Office of Labor Relations lawyer Adam Garelick said Diamantis did not resign in good standing, because he quit without giving two-weeks notice, and because he stepped down while disciplinary action was pending.

“A state employee does not have a right to reinstatement, after he has tendered his resignation,” Grelick said.

Garelick said Diamantis is already collecting a nearly $6,000 monthly pension.

But Diamantis' Attorney Zachary Reiland said Diamantis should have been allowed to rescind his letter of resignation, and continue working.

“The stated reasons for denying reinstatement can't be completely arbitrary and capricious, which they are in this case,” Reiland said.

Reiland said Diamantis did not resign of his own free will and that his client was faced with a hostile work environment in the Lamont administration.

Reiland said Diamantis was forced out “at a time when he was at his ailing mother's bedside. It came at the perfect time.

“The trap was set, and they got what they wanted, which was for him to retire, and then for them to be able to shut him out, by claiming he no longer has recompense to this board,” Reiland said.

A spokesperson for the Lamont administration did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The board did not issue a decision at the online meeting, because one member was absent. That person will review a recording of the meeting and documents filed by the attorneys, and a decision will be made later.

Matt Dwyer is a producer for Where We Live and a reporter and midday host for Connecticut Public's news department.

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