July 1, 2016

BREAKING: Connecticut Democrat Calls On Malloy-Appointee To Recuse Herself

In 2014 State Comptroller Kevin Lembo (D-CT) endorsed Governor Dannel Malloy (D-CT) for re-election. What a difference two years makes. Yesterday, Lembo forcefully demanded that Malloy’s Insurance Commissioner Katharine Wade recuse herself from the Cigna-Anthem merger review she is currently heading.

Last year, the initial focus on Wade’s bias was set off by FACT’s complaint highlighting Wade’s stock holdings. In the last few weeks, the scandal surrounding Malloy and Wade’s conduct related to the merger has grown exponentially. The scandal has moved from consumer groups objecting to Wade’s conflict of interest, to mushroom into a full-blown ethics investigation.

The public disclosure of Malloy and Wade’s close dealings with Cigna, as well as Wade’s lies to ethics officials has now led to Democrats breaking ranks with Malloy. Connecticut Comptroller Kevin Lembo has now joined the 43 advocacy groups who believe Wade is hopeless compromised with regards to Cigna. In a statement released yesterday afternoon, Lembo highlights Wade’s numerous close ties to Cigna in order to show that Wade’s continued involvement corrupts the “integrity integrity of the department’s ongoing review”:

“’Several new developments have come to light that raise serious questions about the fairness and transparency of the review process,’ Lembo wrote. ‘I urge you to take immediate action to restore public confidence in the integrity of the department’s ongoing review by recusing yourself from the process, ensuring the activities and proceedings surrounding the review are as transparent as possible and that all interested parties have the ability to fully participate in the public hearing process.’”

Lembo goes as far as saying that even if the ethics board rules in Wade’s favor, it still would not remove the taint of corruption surrounding Wade:

“Lembo acknowledged that the Office of State Ethics (OSE) has been asked again to rule on whether the commissioner’s past and existing relationships with Cigna constitute a conflict of interest – but said that, even if that results in a ‘favorable’ ruling, it ‘will not remove public skepticism of your role in the review of the merger.’”

Dannel Malloy is the second most unpopular governor in the country. With the Democratic party now abandoning him, it looks like Malloy might finally be #1 at something.