Attorney General Richard Blumenthal uses a 20-plus-year-old desktop podium for his press conferences, while the state police officer who stands guard at Blumenthal’s 55 Elm St. office has one that cost $1,440.
The Attorney General’s office bought the podium, a Forbes Industries model 4900, on July 16, 2006, according to a spokesman. The Comptroller and Treasurer’s offices, who share the same building, later chipped in for a portion of the podium’s cost.
The podium purchase attracted the attention of state auditors because it was split into two payments, against state policy. The Auditors of Public Accounts released their report on fiscal years 2004-06 on June 9. According to the audit report, the vendor would not accept a purchase order, which created the need for two payments.
Reportedly, Blumenthal’s podium was made by inmates of the Department of Correction. This could not be confirmed because the podium predates his administration.