Pennacchio accuses Treasury Department of stonewalling

State Sen. Joe Pennacchio (R-Montville) is not satisfied with the response to his OPRA requests to the Treasury Department, claiming that any substantive discussion about why the state invested in the troubled Lehman Brothers financial firm was blacked out in the documents provided to him.

Pennacchio is investigating how the government lost hundreds of millions in pension funds by investing in Lehman Brothers before its collapse. He had previously complained that his requests were ignored.

After months of trying, Pennacchio said, he finally received some documents from the Treasury Department, only to find that they were made up mostly of press releases, press clippings, and a few documents showing Investment Council advisers discussing the loss and considering their communications strategy. Anything relating to the decision to invest the funds, Pennacchio said, was blacked out.

“This obvious stonewalling by the administration’s appointed Treasurer just reinforces the people’s cynicism and mistrust of the administration’s handling of the entire Lehman affair,” said Pennacchio “The people’s money is theirs. The administration must be held accountable for how it is spent and invested.The first step would be releasing complete and un-redacted copies of the documents involved. Instead, the administration has perversely chosen to use the Open Records Act to hide the truth, not release it as the law intends.”

A spokesman for the Treasurer’s office could not immediately be reached for comment.

Pennacchio accuses Treasury Department of stonewalling