Connecticut: Public Corruption Task Force The corruption tip hotline, 1-800-CALL-FBI, operates 24/7.

It Is Still ‘Corrupticut’

“It’s a sad commentary when the feds feel a state merits its own round-the-clock corruption unit.”

Political corruption in Connecticut is like this winter’s snow: It just won’t stop.

Which is why federal agencies are having to set up a serious stakeout here.

The U.S. attorney’s office, the FBI and four other federal agencies are forming the Connecticut Public Corruption Task Force to root out all those who use their public position for private gain. The corruption tip hotline, 1-800-CALL-FBI, operates 24/7.

It’s a sad commentary when the federal government feels a state merits its own round-the-clock corruption unit.

In a way, federal investigators and prosecutors are doing what they have done here for years: taking the lead in draining corruption cesspools.

The reason why it’s fallen to them to watchdog Connecticut corruption is because the state legislature refuses to hand state prosecutors the tool to do it — the investigative subpoena, which would give them the power to compel witness testimony.

For years, lawmakers have turned up their noses at requests by the state’s attorneys for this tool, although it is common to virtually all other states.

What are legislators afraid of? Now that they’ve been called out by federal law enforcement officials, they can hardly refuse to respond. Lawmakers should give the state’s attorneys subpoena power this session.

Thickheaded and Greedy

You’d have thought that public officials would have gotten the message that corruption doesn’t pay after so many Connecticut lawmakers, staff members, mayors and even a governor have gone to prison or been sentenced to a lifetime of infamy for selling their offices.

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