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Top Lamont budget office official resigns after suspension

October 29, 2021 GMT

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — A top official in Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont’s budget office who played a key role in offshore wind projects and school construction grants has resigned pending what state officials called an investigation into “alleged misconduct.”

Konstantinos “Kosta” Diamantis, the deputy secretary of the state’s Office of Policy and Management, was placed on paid administrative leave Thursday. The same day, he submitted a letter of resignation and retirement to OPM Secretary Melissa McCaw that did not include the reasons for his departure, which was first reported by the Connecticut Mirror.

Diamantis said he was resigning immediately and retiring effective Nov. 1.

In an interview with The Associated Press on Friday, Diamantis said he could not discuss the investigation, but he believed he will be cleared of any wrongdoing.

“I didn’t want to be on paid leave. Paid leave does not sit will with my character,” Diamantis said. “I’ve been director of school construction grants for six years, always with the taxpayer in mind. And I didn’t do anything to get on paid leave and I wasn’t going to take money if I wasn’t working.

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“I’ve given public service many years of my life and I’m proud of my record and my accomplishments ... and I’m not going to let this tarnish that,” he said.

Max Reiss, a spokesperson for Lamont, confirmed that Diamantis had been removed from his deputy secretary position and placed on paid leave “because of a personnel matter that is still under review.” He did not elaborate.

He provided a letter to Diamantis dated Thursday from the Department of Administrative Services that said he was being placed on leave “pending the results of an investigation into your alleged misconduct.” It noted that McCaw was informed Thursday of the “pending review into your alleged misconduct” and that she subsequently notified DAS of Diamantis’ decision to retire.

Diamantis’ suspension and subsequent resignation come about a month after a Hartford Courant columnist wrote about Diamantis’ daughter being hired for a $99,000-a-year position in the Division of Criminal Justice “without any evident competition.”

A spokesperson for the division said Anastasia Diamantis was encouraged to submit her resume “following an in-person inquiry about potential openings at the Division” and “it was determined her education and experience aligned with the current needs of the agency.”

Kosta Diamantis is a lawyer and former Democratic state representative whose district included Bristol.