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Federal investigation underway into Connecticut's former top budget official

A federal grand jury subpoena was issued in October. Here's what we know so far.

HARTFORD, Conn. — Federal investigators are looking into a former top budget official in Gov. Ned Lamont's administration- a man named Konstantinos Diamantis and various construction projects he oversaw in his role, according to a federal grand jury subpoena, dated Oct. 20.

That includes the reconstruction of the State Pier in New London, as well as school construction projects and various hazardous materials abatement projects in the state.

Eight days after the state received the federal subpoena, Lamont's office fired Diamantis as Deputy Secretary for the Office of Policy and Management. That role is second in charge at the budget office.

Diamantis was also placed on leave from his other job overseeing school construction projects under the Department of Administrative Services. A letter from the state said it was "pending the results of an investigation into your alleged misconduct."

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Gov. Lamont's office has not elaborated on what the alleged misconduct is, but there are claims in towns and cities Diamantis pressured local officials to use certain contractors for state-financed projects.

On the same day in February the federal subpoena was revealed, Lamont also released the findings of an independent report done by former U.S. Attorney Stanley Twardy. Lamont had commissioned the report two weeks after he'd fired Diamantis. It looked into the hiring of Diamantis' daughter by soon-to-be former Chief State's Attorney Richard Colangelo. That hiring came at the same time Colangelo was asking Diamantis for prosecutor pay raises in his office. The report called into question the integrity of the circumstances surrounding the hiring. 

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Upon release of the Twardy report, Lamont put Colangelo on blast.

"I'm going to do everything I can to keep people believing in the public trust, and this was, I think an abuse of the public trust,” said Lamont to reporters on Feb. 3, "I don't hire him, I don't fire him, but if I did he'd be gone."

Lamont didn't have the power to fire Colangelo. The report was referred to the Criminal Justice Commission. While they were looking into his conduct, the commission announced Colangelo had decided to retire.

In a letter, Colangelo stated he disagreed with Twardy's report, denying any wrongdoing.

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Right now it's unclear what started the federal investigation into Diamantis.

The governor's office said the administration has and will cooperate fully with the ongoing federal investigation.

FOX61 reached out to Diamantis' attorney, Norm Pattis, but did not hear back.

State Republicans are scheduled to hold a press conference about the federal investigation on Thursday.

Jenn Bernstein is an anchor at FOX61 News. She can be reached at jbernstein@fox61.com. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


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