FRIDAY MORNING UPDATE

BILDA’S NOTES RELEASED

john-bilda

John Bilda

Nor­wich Pub­lic Util­i­ties Gen­eral Man­ager John Bilda’s hand­writ­ten notes taken in con­nec­tion with a sex­ual ha­rass­ment com­plaint against Commissioner James Sullivan have been released. NPU of­fi­cials had fought re­lease of the notes fol­low­ing a Free­dom of In­for­ma­tion Act re­quest filed by “The Day,” but the state FOI Com­mis­sion ruled two weeks ago that the notes were not pro­tected by at­tor­ney-client priv­i­lege. The notes con­sist mainly of par­tial sen­tences, with names of the par­ties in­volved in cer­tain ac­tions not iden­ti­fied. Some of the notes ap­pear to re­fer to ac­tions taken by Bilda the night of the in­ci­dent. NPU of­fi­cials de­clined to com­ment Thurs­day to identify which par­ties are re­ferred to in the notes, citing a nondis­clo­sure agree­ment signed by all par­ties as part of the set­tle­ment.

GOV CANDIDATE VISITS WATERFORD

Steve Obsitnik is one of five GOP gubernatorial candidates in an Aug. 14 primary and is one of three so-called political outsiders. Obsitnik made a campaign stop at Jordan Brook Plaza in Waterford Thursday morning. Ob­sit­nik says the state could save about $1 bil­lion by putting new state em­ploy­ees on 401(k) plans and in­creas­ing their health care con­tri­bu­tions. He says a mid­dle-class tax cut, busi­ness tax re­duc­tions and the elim­i­na­tion of taxes on So­cial Se­cu­rity and pen­sions would help make the state more af­ford­able. The visit drew about two dozen vets and residents eager to hear him out. Obsitnik is a former U.S. Navy submarine officer from Westport and has served as an adjunct professor of business and entrepreneurship at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield since 2010.

PROBES QUESTIONED

A Ston­ing­ton po­lice de­tec­tive and a for­mer first select­man both say the town never should have paid $250 an hour to the town labor attorney to con­duct an investigation on harassment complaints. Town policy reads it should use its own man­age­ment staff not in­volved in the dis­pute to con­duct such probes. De­tec­tive Greg Howard and for­mer First Select­man Don­ald Maranell told the Board of Select­men Wed­nes­day night that the in­ves­tiga­tive re­ports that the town paid al­most $20,000 for concerning three em­ploy­ees have fac­tual er­rors in them and should be cor­rected. Current First Selectman Rob Sim­mons has said that he was forced to hire the town labor attorney be­cause the employee filing the complaint did not fol­low proper pro­ce­dure by email­ing him about the com­plaint. Simmons pointed out the town’s ha­rass­ment pol­icy states an em­ployee who feels he or she has been ha­rassed should con­tact the di­rec­tor of ad­min­is­tra­tive ser­vices or the first select­man, which Simmons says didn’t happen.

HOUSE DESTROYED IN FIRE

The investigation is underway into what started an early morning house fire in Lebanon. Crews arrived at the scene on Deepwood Drive to find smoke and flames coming from the residence. The house was destroyed. The flames were so intense a house next door also had some of its vinyl siding damaged. No one was injured.

RAJAB GETS SCHOOL BOARD SEAT

The Stonington Board of Education voted unanimously Wednesday night to appoint Democrat Farouk Rajab to fill the seat of Frank Todisco. Rajab ran unsuccessfully for a four-year term on the Board of Finance in 2017. He immigrated to the United States in 1998. Rajab is the current treasurer and past president of the Stonington Community Center and past president of the Connecticut Lodging Association.

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