Republican Attorney Claims SEEC Is Dragging Its Feet
The Newington resident who filed an election complaint against Gov. Dannel P. Malloy in October is suing the State Elections Enforcement Commission for not completing its investigation.
Ben Ancona, of Newington, filed a civil lawsuit against the SEEC Wednesday in Hartford Superior Court alleging that that agency doesn’t plan on finishing its investigation before awarding Malloy public funds.
The complaint Ancona filed on Oct. 28, 2013, alleged that Malloy was acting like a candidate before declaring his candidacy. The SEEC agreed to investigate the matter.
Ancona claimed Malloy solicited contributions and allowed others, mainly his former adviser, Roy Occhiogrosso, to make expenditures aimed at his re-election before he was officially a candidate. Such a misstep would preclude the governor from participating in the Citizens’ Election Program.
Malloy declared his candidacy in late March, six months after Ancona filed his SEEC complaint, and claims to have collected the $250,000 in small donations in order to qualify for the more than $6.5 million grant. The SEEC must audit the donations before awarding the grant. So far, none of the gubernatorial candidates have received a grant.
“The SEEC has not issued a decision or rendered a determination that probable cause or no probable cause exists for any of the violations of the state election laws alleged in the complaint,” the lawsuit states. “The SEEC has unreasonably delayed action on the complaint.”
Based on inquiries Ancona made to the SEEC regarding when a decision will be made, he has been advised that “a decision or determination on the complaint will not be made prior to the SEEC’s consideration of the application for a CEP grant filed by Governor Dannel Malloy’s candidate committee.”
Malloy’s candidate committee is scheduled to receive the grant on June 17.
Ancona, a Republican attorney, said that he has been “prejudiced, harmed, aggrieved, damaged, and left without any adequate remedy of law save relief by this court.”
The SEEC wasn’t immediately available Wednesday night to comment on the lawsuit.
Back in March the SEEC dismissed a complaint against Malloy that was filed by the Connecticut Republican Party. The complaint had alleged Malloy solicited contributions from Lenny Mendonca, a co-founder of McKinsey & Company, a state contractor. The two had been at the same event in California last October when Malloy was on a fundraising trip for the Democratic Party.
Mendonca denied he was solicited by Malloy or the party for a donation.