Two Mystic Aquarium employees donated to the Connecticut Democratic Party’s federal account in January.
As a recipient of state funding, Mystic Aquarium is a state contractor. This means certain decision-makers, known as principals, cannot contribute to state political campaigns.
However, it is not illegal for the principals of state contractors to contribute to the federal accounts of state political parties. The State Elections Enforcement Commission warned parties about the practice last month.
Vice President William Parks contributed $5,000, in what appears to be his only federal political contribution ever, according to the Federal Election Commission website.
President and CEO Stephen Coan, a regular donor to political candidates of both parties, gave $1,000.
Mystic Aquarium received just less than $600,000 in state funding last year, according to the state’s transparency website, the smallest amount in the past four years. In 2012, the aquarium received $1.5 million and more than $600,000 in each of the two prior years.