CT Considers Legal Action Against Contractors

Fri May 30, 2003 - National Edition

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) The state is preparing legal action against contractors who were allegedly involved in a bribery scheme with a former top official in the Rowland administration, Attorney General Richard Blumenthal told the Journal Inquirer of Manchester.

Pursuing the contractors is ”really a matter of timing and not whether, but when, actions should be taken,’ Blumenthal said.

Lawrence Alibozek, Rowland’s former deputy chief of staff, pleaded guilty in March to federal charges he accepted gold and other bribes in exchange for steering state contracts. Authorities have not released the names of the contractors, and none have been charged with wrongdoing. The federal investigation is continuing.

` `We have been considering actions claiming violations of state laws, such as the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act or the racketeering act or for contractual breaches,’ Blumenthal told the newspaper.

Blumenthal declined to say what contractors might be targeted in any civil action, but said he would focus on parties that received contracts either directly or indirectly through criminal activity.

He said he also expects more federal charges to be filed.

The New Britain-based Tomasso Group has been subpoenaed in the federal investigation. Members of the contracting firm have denied any wrongdoing; its principal, William Tomasso, has transferred his managerial duties.

The group and its branches _ TBI Construction, Tunxis Management and Tenergy Water _ have long had contracts with the state.

Three Tomasso projects _ the Bradley parking garage, the Juvenile Training School in Middletown and the Bridgeport Superior Court for Juvenile Matters and Detention Center _ are mentioned in documents subpoenaed in the federal probe.

Blumenthal said a priority is not to take any action that would impede or delay the federal case.

He could not say when any additional legal action will be filed.

"That will depend on the timing of the federal investigation,’ Blumenthal said.