Eight donors affiliated with HAKS Engineers, a Department of Transportation contractor, gave generously to the Connecticut Democratic Party in October and circumstantial evidence suggests they may have attended a New York City event with Gov. Dannel Malloy.
Malloy’s office and the Democratic Party did not respond to requests for comment.
According to a report filed with the Federal Elections Commission, the party received the eight donations – totaling $45,000 – on Monday, Oct. 7, the first business day after New York lobbyist Tonio Burgos hosted a Friday fundraiser headlined by Malloy.
The nature of the donations received on Oct. 4, the date of the fundraiser, and on Oct. 7, the following Monday, plus connections between Burgos and the head of HAKS suggest employees of the contractor may have attended the fundraiser with Malloy.
Burgos and HAKS CEO Elliot Sander serve on the board of the Regional Plan Association, which describes itself as “America’s oldest independent urban research and advocacy organization.”
Sander, who donated $5,000 to the Democrats’ federal account, is the chairman of the RPA board, which has about 20 members. Burgos serves with him on the board’s smaller executive committee.
Michael Cacace, another RPA board member and a partner at the Stamford law firm Cacace, Tusch & Santagata, contributed $1,100 to the party, which it received on Oct. 7.
His firm donated another $2,000, Paul Tusch gave $700 and Mark Santagata gave $200 all on Oct. 7.
HAKS had two state contracts worth about $4.3 million that date back to before Gov. Dannel Malloy, a Democrat, took office. In 2012, DOT signed two new contracts with HAKS worth another $3.6 million to date, according to the transparency website.
A May 2012 DOT contract with HAKS specifies a $582,534 “fixed fee for profit” and a maximum budget of $7.5 million.
Previously, The CT Mirror and the Hartford Courant reported on a Malloy trip to California where he came across an executive with McKinsey & Co., a state contractor. The Republican Party filed a complaint with the State Elections Enforcement Commission suggesting Malloy may have broken the law.
The Democratic Party received a large number of out-of-state donations on Oct. 7:
– Muhammad Siddiqui, of North Brunswick, N.J., with Simco Engineering gave $5,000.
– Jon Silvan, of New York City, gave $2,500. He is CEO of Global Strategy Group, the firm where Roy Occhiogrosso, Malloy’s former adviser, now works.
– Thomas Beck, of Saratoga Springs, N.Y., donated $1,000. He is chief commercial officer of ReEnergy Holdings, which owns ReEnergy Sterling, a power plant in Eastern Connecticut that burns old tires and biomass to generate electricity.
– Jay Kriegel, of New York City, a senior advisor to the real estate firm The Related Companies, gave $1,000.
– Anthony Masiello, of Buffalo, N.Y., president of the lobbying firm Masiello, Martucci, Calabrese & Associates gave $1,000.
– Peter Peyser Jr., of Washington, D.C., with the lobbying firm Blank Rome Government Relations, gave $1,000.
– Jose Rodriguez, of New York City, president of HITN, gave $1,000.
– Tucker Green, of New York City, is a political consultant. He gave $250. His firm, Tucker Green Consulting, raises money for New York Democrats.
Douglas York, of Stamford, is CEO of Union Community Health Center in the Bronx. He gave $1,000, also on Oct. 7.
The donations received by the party on the actual date of the fundraiser include $175 from state employee Gail Crockett; $2,500 from Marvin Lender of M&M Investments, formerly of Lender’s Bagel Bakery; and $250 from Austin McGuigan of Rome McGuigan, who gave a total of $1,600 in October.