HARTFORD, Conn. – A former state official involved in awarding a $57 million construction project to a contractor who did free work for Gov. John G. Rowland (search) has been called to testify before a federal grand jury, The Associated Press has learned.
Kristine Ragaglia (search), former commissioner of the state Department of Children and Families, was summoned this week to appear in June, said a source familiar with the corruption investigation of Rowland, speaking on condition of anonymity. She has been cooperating with authorities.
Ragaglia's attorney, Hope Seeley, declined comment.
Rowland not only faces the FBI probe but also a legislative impeachment (search) inquiry. Both stem from allegations of bribery by contractors and contract steering by government officials.
The governor has acknowledged lying about accepting gifts, but has denied providing anything in return. He has apologized but says he has done nothing that warrants his removal from office.
Ragaglia, appointed by Rowland, was among the state officials who served on a committee that selected Tomasso Brothers (search) to oversee construction of a juvenile training school in Middletown.
Ragaglia and other state officials - including Rowland's top aides - took a trip to Marion, Ohio, in 1998 to view a similar project. Though competitive bidding on the project was months away, Tomasso President William Tomasso joined them. State records show the trip gave Tomasso a significant advantage over competitors.
Another person on the trip, former deputy Chief of Staff Lawrence Alibozek (search), pleaded guilty last year to contract steering and is cooperating in the probe. Four others connected to the construction project also have been subpoenaed.