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Adventures in Connecticut whistleblowing



Stirring outrage in Connecticut, a lawyer-discipline committee has recommended a mere reprimand and ethics-course attendance for Maureen Duggan, a lawyer on the state payroll who wrote a bogus letter denouncing her boss and then moved into whistleblower-protection mode while he got fired. In the letter, Duggan posed as a parking-lot attendant reporting on misconduct by then-state ethics chief Alan S. Plofsky, at whose agency Duggan then worked; Plofsky "was investigated and fired, though an appeals panel later found he was terminated without just cause. Duggan, meanwhile, was transferred into a supervisory position at the state Department of Children and Families, earning $105,000 a year, where she remains employed to this day." (Andy Bromage, "Truth & No Consequences", Hartford Advocate, Nov. 13; Jon Lender, "Reprimand Recommended For State Agency Lawyer", Hartford Courant, Nov. 2; "Ms. Duggan's Duplicity" (editorial), Hartford Courant, Nov. 12). A state agency investigating the matter declined to recommend Duggan's removal, in the Advocate's words, "on the grounds that the state has no specific policy prohibiting that sort of charade," even among lawyers at its own ethics agency. And the department where Duggan found such a soft landing, that of Children and Families, is now the subject of its own brouhaha: its legal director was discovered to have been checking confidential files on a matter in which a member of her own family was involved, and drew a ten-day suspension for this violation of privacy policy. (Jon Lender, "Top Lawyer Broke Own Agency's Rules", Hartford Courant, Nov. 23).

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Isaac Gorodetski
Project Manager,
Center for Legal Policy at the
Manhattan Institute
igorodetski@manhattan-institute.org

Katherine Lazarski
Press Officer,
Manhattan Institute
klazarski@manhattan-institute.org

 

Published by the Manhattan Institute

The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.