The International Business Times is claiming that Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and his insurance commissioner Katherine Wade misled the public over the proposed $54B merger between Bloomfield-based Cigna and Anthem. IBT notes that even though Wade has put a halt to reviewing the merger, because the U.S. Justice Department has sued to block the union, that she and her boss are still not out of the woods over their efforts to help Cigna in the merger attempt.
IBT reported that the Connecticut Citizen’s Ethics Advisory Board and its general counsel, Barbara Housen never gave the okay for Wade to review the merger, as the commissioner suggested. Now the board is pursuing a conflict-of-interest investigation with one member suggesting that Malloy and Wade misled the public.
Wade is under scrutiny for having once served as a Cigna lobbyist. Her husband still works at Cigna. Republicans and some high profile Democrats have called on Wade to recuse herself from reviewing the merger, but Wade claimed the advisory board gave her the clearance, telling her there was no conflict of interest. Housen insists no approval was ever given for Wade to proceed. Malloy has steadfastly stood by the commissioner.
The governor and commissioner would not comment to IBT on the probe. Wade stated she has stopped reviewing the merger proposal in the wake of JD’s lawsuit.
It has already been a tough week for Malloy as he heads to Philadelphia to play a prominent role in the Democrat National Convention. The governor’s 2014 re-election campaign is under investigation by the feds, and a video caught him on tape getting special treatment from security last November at Bradley International Airport, to deliver his son’s backpack, which officials admitted was never checked by security. Malloy, who chairs the Democratic Governor’s Association, has job approval ratings at a low 24 percent.
IBT has been aggressive in covering the merger story, claiming Wade set up a private email address to communicate about the proposed merger and that Malloy also worked behind the scenes to move the merger along.
The mainstream Connecticut media has covered the merger story but has not delved into the behind-the-scenes activities of the governor or commissioner that IBT has reported.