Connecticut Republicans are looking to cash-in on Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s multilayered friendship with Al Barbarotta, the controversial and politically-connected construction manager from Trumbull who is also the caretaker of Malloy’s Stamford home.
Barbarotta’s recent hiring of city employee in Malloy’s hometown of Stamford to do landscaping for the governor led to allegations of cronyism when a city truck was used during the job.
“The case against Governor Malloy continues to expand exponentially and it’s very likely that we will be bringing this controversy to the attention of our donors, along with the litany of economic malfeasance that has put our state in last place,” state GOP Chairman Jerry Labriola Jr. told Hearst Connecticut Newspapers.
“If this storyline sounds familiar to Connecticut voters, that’s because it is. Just four years ago, Hartford mayor Eddie Perez was arrested for having city contractors work on his private residence. To suggest that Governor Malloy has less influence as Governor than Perez did as mayor is absurd. These newest revelations, along with the 2003 investigation involving work done on Malloy’s home, present a disturbing pattern of impropriety.”
Democrats reminded that one of Malloy’s toughest GOP critics, House Minority Leader Larry Cafero, of Norwalk, characterized the situation as much ado about nothing.
“Given that the governor did nothing wrong, as Larry Cafero pointed out, it’s hard to imagine how they’ll use this, but they certainly never let the facts get in their way of fundraising,” said Elizabeth Larkin, a spokeswoman for the Connecticut Democrats.
Malloy’s office maintains that the governor had no knowledge of Barbarotta’s hiring of an off-duty deputy tree warden to do landscaping, for which it produced an invoice for $1,595.25.