Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said last week that traditional security protocol requires State Police to accompany him where ever he goes. During his regular news conference following the monthly meeting of the State Bond Commission, he addressed criticism from state Sen. Toni Boucher, R-Wilton.
"The state has a long tradition of providing security to the governor," Malloy told reporters. "I'm not being treated any differently than other governors have been, so we're not going to set up a new model with respect to that. If I go to McDonald's, I have security. If I go to a movie, I have security. If I travel anywhere in state or out of state, I have security. I don't get to make those decisions. And I have to tell you, to some extent I wish I had more privacy. But I think when you're in my position, you turn yourself over to other people who make those decisions. I have done my best to remain outside that decision making. We're not going to change the policy long-established in the state of Connecticut to the security of the governor and the lieutenant governor."
Boucher is critical of the $13,700 in taxpayer money spent on Malloy's three-person security detail during a recent fundraising trip to California that was paid by the state Democrats.
In a breakdown Boucher received this week from the state Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection in response to a Freedom of Information request she made in October, the total included $8,080.71 in payroll costs, including $2,570.70 in compensatory time for one of the troopers, plus $5,679.54 for airfare, lodging, transportation, and meals.
"Taxpayers are entitled to full disclosure about the use of public funds, and my FOI request should not have been necessary," said Boucher, who has announced an exploratory committee for higher statewide office.
"I believe that it is wrong to use state resources for the fundraising activities of any political party, and the state Democratic Party should reimburse the state for these expenses immediately. If the party does not do this, taxpayers need to know it and the administration must explain why. Just last week, the governor insisted on the importance of transparency when he issued an executive order making economic development information accessible. Taxpayers deserve better treatment."