ORDER TO OFFICE OF STATE ETHICS ENFORCEMENT DIVISION REGARDING ADVISORY OPINION 2008-8
In Advisory Opinion No. 2008-8 (“AO 2008-8”), the Citizen’s Ethics Advisory Board (“board”) concluded that, for purposes of General Statutes § 1-84 (n), a campaign contribution made by an individual before becoming a principal of the investment services firm will be attributed to the firm, thus prohibiting it from doing business with the Office of the State Treasurer (“State Treasurer”) during the incumbent’s term of office.
Notwithstanding the facts and conclusion reached in AO 2008-8, the board, recognizing the magnitude and scale of the potential financial harm to the State Treasurer’s office, and therefore to the state of Connecticut (amounting to millions of dollars), exercises its discretion to act in the public’s interest. Specifically, based on the representations and argument submitted and presented by the State Treasurer, the board understands that the State Treasurer, and investment services firms with which the State Treasurer presently has contracts, had previously interpreted the language of § 1-84 (n) in a manner inconsistent with AO 2008-8. In light of this differing interpretation, and the negative financial impact that may result if the board’s interpretation of § 1-84 (n) is applied to existing situations where a principal made a contribution to the State Treasurer’s campaign before becoming a principal, the board, in its discretion, instructs the Enforcement Division of the Office of State Ethics as follows:
1. To refrain from filing, or prosecuting, any ethics complaint against the State Treasurer under § 1-84 (n) (2) with respect to (a) contracts entered into before September 1, 2011, and (b) payments made in connection with contracts entered into before September 1, 2011, with an investment services firm whose principal had made a contribution to the State Treasurer’s campaign before becoming such a principal.
2. To refrain from filing, or prosecuting, any ethics complaint against the State Treasurer under § 1-84 (n) (2) with respect to a contract entered into on or after September 1, 2011, with an investment services firm whose principal had made a pre-September 1, 2011 contribution to the State Treasurer before becoming such a principal.
By order of the Board,
Thomas H. Dooley, Chairperson
Dated: July 22, 2010
Submissions and representation of Catherine LaMarr, General Counsel, Office of the State Treasurer, Citizen’s Ethics Advisory Board regular meeting of September 25, 2008.