The day before this week's primary election, John P. Flanagan, the endorsed Democratic candidate for the 91st House of Representatives seat who lost to challenger Michael D'Agostino, filed complaints against D'Agostino's concerning his alleged use of Board of Education facilities to raise money.
He filed the complaint with the State Election Enforcement Commission and another under the town's Code of Ethics, Flanagan said.
According to Flanagan, D’Agostino and his supporters used the BOE's e-mail system to solicit funds from school district employees.
“This appears to violate many areas of the town’s Ethics code, particularly concerning abuse of power and pursuing personal benefit," Flanagan said. "Also, it’s not clear that the average Hamden taxpayer would have the same easy access to the same system.”
Flanagan said he personally drove to Hartford to file the complaint with the SEEC Monday morning after speaking with representatives from that office.
"I wanted it filed before primary day in case I happened to lose," he said. "That way no one could say it was just sour grapes. And, based on the timing, I’ll reap no political benefits. I want these matters investigated, and if needed, laws changed to ban this behavior.
"I hold politics to be a high calling. I get very annoyed when someone tarnishes the image for personal interest," he said. "And, they do it simply because the public put them in a position where they have been given power that might allow them to think they can.”
"I have not actually seen a complaint yet, to either the state or the town ethics board, so it is difficult for me to comment until there is something on which to comment," D'Agostino said Wednesday. "I can say, unequivocally, that I have done nothing wrong.
"I do not deny -- and I am proud to say that I did successfully -- contact our teachers and others for support," he said, adding that the email addresses he used are publicly available on the hamden.org website.
Editor's note: email addresses for Board of Education employees are availabe online at the districts website here: http://www.hamden.org/page.cfm?p=1524
"Anyone can access that information or simply request it from the school district," he said. "Any member of the public may contact Hamden faculty and staff via the hamden.org email addresses.
"Using my own computer and personal campaign email account, I emailed the school employees who I have gotten to know over the years for support," he said. "Some of them responded and I am thankful for that. Mr. Flanagan could have easily accessed the same publicly available information to try and garner support."
D'Agostino said that all campaign reports, showing all contributions and expenditures made by the two campaigns in this race, can be accessed at http://seec.ct.gov/ecrisreporting/SearchingDoc.aspx.
"I welcome any official review of this race," D'Agostino said. "I am proud of the campaign I ran, grateful to the residents of Hamden for their overwhelming support, and excited for the opportunity to serve as Hamden’s voice in Hartford."