New Board of Regents chairman and wife maxed out to party weeks before selection

    Gov. Dannel Malloy publicly named Nicholas Donofrio chairman of the Board of Regents of Higher Education weeks after he and his wife made $10,000 contributions to the Connecticut Democratic Party.

    The Ridgefield couple made the max-out donations to the party’s federal account in November. Malloy promoted Donofrio from member of the board to its chairman on Dec. 12.

    Anita Donofrio, Nicholas’ wife, began giving to a number of Democratic candidates and party committees in 2012, but this marked her first donation to her home state party. Previously, she donated to the Democratic National Committee and state parties in Colorado, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, Ohio, Wisconsin and Virginia, according to the Federal Elections Commission.

    Nicholas Donofrio donated to a mix of Republicans and Democrats since the late 1990s. Although he made large contributions to the federal account of the Vermont Democratic Party in 2010 and 2012, his contribution to the Connecticut party last month was his first, according to the FEC.

    Donofrio, a longtime IBM executive, has been a member of the Board of Regents since its creation last year.

    The Board of Regents did not respond to a request for comment before deadline.