Emails show greater involvement of Kosta Diamantis in her daughter’s job search

Konstantinos Diamantis, the former state official under federal investigation, showed particular interest in his daughter’s quest for state employment on several occasions in early 2020, documents show. released on Friday.

The documents, obtained by The Connecticut Mirror on Friday via a Freedom of Information Act request, were compiled in response to a federal subpoena issued in October.

Many of the documents were part of the independent investigation into the case commissioned by Governor Ned Lamont and led by Stanley Twardy of the law firm Day Pitney.

But others provide new insights into the extent to which Diamantis has advocated on behalf of her daughter Anastasia.

[The Kosta Diamantis timeline]

The Twardy Report established that Diamantis had interfered with Anastasia’s job search. He reported that he lobbied a State Department of Administrative Services official to hire Anastasia for a human resources position in November 2018, and that in June 2020 he emailed Anastasia regarding a job with the Criminal Justice Division – which he originally received from former Attorney General Richard Colangelo. Colangelo hired Anastasia Diamantis a few days later for a different position in his office. Colangelo, accused of pressuring Diamantis to help secure raises for his staff, resigned in early February.

But those aren’t the only instances Kosta Diamantis has become involved in Anastasia’s employment efforts, the documents say.

Two state jobs

On January 2, 2020, Anastasia Diamantis received an email from a state human resources official regarding a job with the state Department of Education. The email stated that a staff assistant position that Anastasia had applied for was canceled and would be reposted with different job responsibilities in the future.

She forwarded the email to his father two days later with no comment, the records show. Minutes later, Kosta Diamantis forwarded the email to her boss, Office of Policy and Management Secretary Melissa McCaw, without comment.

“She sent it to my personal email just to let me know what happened, and I forwarded it to my state email so I could print it out at work and in have a trace,” Diamantis said. “The only reason the personal email ended up in my status email is because I don’t have a printer at home and wanted to print it out.”

Just a month later, on February 6, 2020, Diamantis learned that the new Office of Workforce Competitiveness needed an executive assistant, a job that paid up to $135,000.

Diamantis forwarded the job description to then-Governor Paul Mounds’ COO and asked “Does [this] anything for Anastasia?

Mounds responded by telling Diamantis that whoever gets the job would eventually report to the Office of State Policy and Management, the agency he helped lead: “I don’t know who for that job. That said, this ES position is current at DECD and needs to be moved [to] OPM in upcoming budget adjustments.

“I was just curious about a job offer and wondering if my daughter might be qualified for it,” Diamantis said on Saturday. “I was just asking a question to see what the answer might be.”

Other participations

The documents also raise questions about a second job Anastasia Diamantis got in July 2020 at a company called Construction Advocacy Professionals (CAP), a company that was the construction manager for the Birch Grove Elementary School project in Tolland. . Kosta Diamantis, who at the time was director of the State Office of Grants and School Construction Review within the OPM, oversaw the public funding of the project.

Included in thousands of subpoenas related to the school construction grant program was this promotional flyer for CAP, which lists Anastasia Diamantis as “project engineer/assistant.”

Anastasia Diamantis was hired by CAP in July 2020, after the company received a $70,000 contract to oversee the construction of portable classrooms at the school. Weeks after Anastasia was hired, the company received a $460,000 contract amendment to oversee the construction of a new school on the site.

Kosta Diamantis denied playing a role in hiring his daughter, but in an email sent on July 2, he copied his daughter when discussing the project with CAP owner Antonietta Roy. It is not known if Anastasia was employed by CAP on this date. According to the Twardy report, she started her job in July.

The email dealt with questions from Tolland officials about the first phase of the school project – the installation of modular classrooms that students could use during construction.

‘Hint hint’

The documents also show that Diamantis had an exchange of emails with representative Jason Rojas, D-East Hartford and the House Majority Leader, in July 2020. Rojas begins by thanking Diamantis and McCaw for their “support to many of my colleagues who are asking for links.” He goes on to raise questions about the plans in Newington and South Windsor, and after some back and forth seems to conclude with “Sounds like a plan”.

Diamantis responded to that email with a single line: “By the way, I hope my daughter gets a good room at Trinity. Hint hint. Diamantis was apparently referring to one of his other daughters, not Anastasia .

Rojas is the chief of staff to the president of Trinity College in Hartford.

Rojas replied: “Hmmmmm. Let’s see if the States ensure that we can ensure the safety and health[y] an experience as possible :)”

Diamantis replied: “Perfecto”.

“Every time I saw Jason he would ask me how my daughter was doing in school because he knew she went to Trinity and I knew he worked there,” Diamantis said on Saturday. “We used to talk about school all the time.”

Rojas said on Saturday he remembered the exchange and took it as an “ironic and not serious comment.”

“It was very light, and that’s how I took it,” Rojas said. “Obviously, given the current circumstances, it might not look so good, but I didn’t take it seriously. I couldn’t have helped it anyway. The dorms are awarded by a lottery with which I have nothing to do.

Other documents to come

Lamont’s attorney, Nora Dannehy, said the documents released to the CT Mirror on Friday — well over 6,000 PDF files — represent only a portion of what was turned over to federal authorities last year and that the rest would be released once they are verified. for privilege and other exemptions under freedom of information laws.

The Connecticut Mirror requested the cited documents to appear in early February, shortly after the existence of the federal investigation became known. They include thousands of pages of tender documents, meeting minutes, and emails.

Documents show that Kosta Diamantis was not a prolific emailer, often responding to lengthy missives from others with replies of just a few words.

A federal grand jury rendered the summons to the Department of State Administrative Services for all emails, text messages, and attachments involving Diamantis and a wide range of construction projects on October 20, 2021.

Eight days later, he was removed from his position as the second-highest-ranking state budget official in the Office of Policy and Management and placed on administrative leave as director of OSCG&R. Rather than accept the leave, Diamantis opted to retire.

The DAS subpoena on October 20 specifically targeted state contract files for school refurbishment, hazardous materials disposal and the new State Pier in New London, as well as emails and text messages involving, among others, Anastasia Diamantis and CAP, where she worked part-time.

Federal authorities then sent a second request with more than 50 search terms for the state to search Diamantis’ emails and text messages.

The “wanted” list includes the names of several contractors, including D’Amato Construction, which secured untendered work for the Tolland school, as well as several other school projects. The search list also included the words “marriage”, “gift” and “FBI”.

Many of the emails released on Friday related to the Birch Grove Elementary School project in Tolland, which was a key part of the federal investigation.

Tolland Schools Superintendent Walter Willett has since alleged that local Tolland officials were pressured by Diamantis to choose D’Amato Construction for the school construction project. Other school officials have made similar statements.

Correction

An earlier version of this story incorrectly reported the name of the construction management company that hired Anastasia Diamantis. They are construction defense professionals.

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