BILDA’S NOTES RELEASED
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.
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.