Why did the Malloy Administration rush through hiring Steven Adamowski?
Why did Adamowski start in his new state position even before the State Board of Education voted to extend his appointment as Special Master for the Windham and New London school systems?
It turns out the answer, at least in part, can be found in the no-bid contract Adamowski was given in July 2011.
More than two years ago, with the support of Windham state legislators, State Senator Donald Williams and State Representative Susan Johnson, the Connecticut General Assembly authorized the creation of a Special Masters position with the adoption of Section 138 of Public Act 11-16.
A month later, without any open, competitive bidding or review process, Malloy’s Acting Commissioner of Education gave the Special Master’s job to Steven Adamowski by directing the State Education Resource Center (SERC) to hire him, a move that later drew a rebuke from the Connecticut State Auditors.
The contracted, signed July 25, 2011 provided that Adamowski would begin on August 15, 2011 and that, “The Agreement term shall be from August 15, 2011 to August 14, 2013.” The amount of Adamowski’s compensation was set at $450,000 for the two year period.
Fast-forward two years later…
By stuffing Steven Adamowski into a state position effective August 30, 2013, the Malloy Administration was ensuring that Steven Adamowski wouldn’t miss a pay-period despite the fact that his no-bid SERC contract ran out effective August 15, 2013.
Although Adamowski has been making $4,327 every two weeks for the past two years, Commissioner Stefan Pryor cut corners to put Adamowski on the state payroll effective August 30, 2013 even though the State Board of Education hadn’t even voted to extend Adamowski’s term as “Special Master.”
Was the State Board of Education taken for a ride or worse, did they know that a special deal with Adamowski was already a done deal and chose not to say anything?
On September 4, 2013, the State Board of Education, under the leadership of Board Chairman Allan Taylor, voted to extend Adamowski’s contract as Special Master. At the time, neither Pryor nor Taylor publically informed the State Board of Education or the public that Adamowski had already been hired by the state.
In fact, Pryor clearly implied, and his public relations staff confirmed to the media, that the vote would allow Pryor to hire (future tense) Adamowski as a state employee.
However, a set of state emails acquired this week reveal that Pryor’s staff was already working feverishly to get Adamowski on the state payroll long before the State Board of Education voted to allow Adamowski to continue his role as Special Master.
In an email dated Wednesday, August 28, 2013 (5:47 p.m.), for example, Stefan Pryor’s Chief of Staff, Adam Goldfarb, wrote to Malloy’s Office of Policy and Management saying, “the very time-sensitive durational position we discussed is heading to your approval queue. Could you please do us a favor and look out for it? Need to get it all the way done by Friday! Thank you, Adam.”
The entire episode raises numerous questions, but the most significant question of all is what did the State Board of Education know and when did it know it?
If would be disturbing indeed if the State Board of Education knew about this charade and remained silent.