A husband, wife and son each wrote $10,000 checks to the Connecticut Democratic Party weeks after learning the Department of Transportation selected their company for a $500 million Stamford redevelopment project.
The state will provide $35 million for parking garages near the city’s train station, while the preferred developer, the joint venture Stamford Manhattan Development Ventures, will finance the rest of the “transit-oriented development” project.
The development, to be called Station Place, is expected to include office space, a hotel and residential units amounting to 1 million square feet, according to the Stamford Advocate.
DOT made the decision to select Stamford Manhattan on June 6, according to a spokesman, and agency officials met with company representatives on June 12 to discuss “next steps.”
John McClutchy Jr, a longtime contributor to Democrats, runs The JHM Group. One of the JHM companies is the managing member of Stamford Manhattan, according to the Secretary of the State’s website.
John McClutchy, his wife, Janet, and their son, Todd, each gave $10,000 to the party on July 1, 2013, according to the Federal Elections Commission. The FEC tracks the donations because they went to the state party’s account for use in federal elections. State campaign finance laws do not apply to this kind of contribution.
Ten days after the donations, DOT publicly announced Stamford Manhattan as the state’s preferred developer.
According to the State Elections Enforcement Commission, the trio also donated:
– $750 each to Prosperity for Connecticut, a political action committee Gov. Dannel Malloy has fundraised for, in January 2012
– $100 each to Malloy’s campaign committee in 2010
– $375 each to Malloy’s exploratory committee in 2009
On July 13, 2012, DOT issued its RFP for the Stamford TOD project. Proposals were due Sept. 24.
A month later, John McClutchy gave $2,000 to the Connecticut Democratic Party.
According to a DOT spokesman, the agency is still negotiating a contract with Stamford Manhattan. Because the negotiations are ongoing, DOT declined to identify other bidders on the project.
Similarly, DOT refused to provide documentation supporting the selection of Stamford Manhattan until the contract is signed.
State law gives agencies the option to keep these documents secret until a deal is made. Agencies become obligated to release them once a contract is signed.
Employees of another DOT contractor, HAKS engineers, gave $45,000 to the Connecticut Democratic Party in October.
Previously, McClutchy gave $8,075 to the Connecticut Democratic Party between 2002 and 2006.
In 2011, McClutchy gave $5,000 to the party. Todd McClutchy gave $250 in 2006 and $10,000 in November 2010.
Todd McClutchy didn’t work for JHM until after the 2010 election. Previously he worked for The Richman Group.
Stamford Manhattan Development Ventures also includes Ciminelli Real Estate Corporation, ECCO III Enterprises and the Gilbane Company.