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Ansonia Mayor’s Campaign Corrects Disclosure Blunder

by Ethan Fry | Jun 26, 2017 5:48 am

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Posted to: Ansonia, Ansonia Election 2017, Your Right To Know

Ansonia Mayor David Cassetti’s re-election campaign failed to disclose that $4,000 in contributions to the mayor’s run came from people affiliated with a company that does business with the city.

The donations themselves are not prohibited, but the campaign didn’t check the correct box on election forms disclosing that the donors are connected to one of the city’s contractors — Prime AE, an engineering and architectural firm.

Corrected paperwork was submitted less than 24 hours after the Valley Indy asked the mayor about the donations.

About 54 percent of the mayor’s re-election money so far is from Prime AE employees or their families. The company has done recent work on projects connected to the senior center, fire houses and public works in the city.

Cassetti, who became mayor in 2013 and was re-elected to the post in a landslide two years later, is the only formal candidate for the post thus far this year.

The mayor filed paperwork to register his “Cassetti For Mayor 2017” campaign Feb. 14.

The campaign’s treasurer is John Marini, who is also the city’s corporation counsel. The campaign’s assistant treasurer is Sheila O’Malley, who works as the city’s grants writer and economic development director.

As of April 10, the most recent filing deadline from the State Elections Enforcement Commission, the mayor had raised a total of $7,425 in contributions.

A full list of donors is below.

Of the $7,425 total, $4,000 comes from people affiliated with Prime AE:

  • Jay Jayanthan, a Wallingford resident and the company’s chairman, donated $1,000 to Cassetti March 15.
  • Shanthini Jayanthan, who lives at the same Wallingford address, also gave $1,000 March 15.
  • Kumar Buvanendaran, an Elliott City, Maryland resident who serves as the company’s president and CEO, donated $1,000 March 11.
  • Ranjan Manoranjan, a Columbus, Ohio resident and accountant whose LinkedIn page describes him as a principal at Prime, donated $1,000 March 11.

(A fifth $1,000 donor, Shanthini Balakrishnan, lives at the same address as Manoranjan, but works as an IT specialist with the federal Social Security Administration, according to the disclosure form.)

The donation forms filled out by the donors themselves include a question that asks: “Do you or a business with which you are associated have a contract with the town, city or borough in which the candidate is running that is valued at more than $5,000?”

The four donors all checked the “Yes” box.

However, on subsequent donor info filed by the campaign, the campaign answered “No.”

At the time the donations were made, the company had a contract to perform $19,000 of engineering services for a project at the public works complex, according to Marini.

Mayor Responds

The Valley Indy asked Cassetti about the discrepancies Thursday (June 22). He said he’d have corrected paperwork submitted if necessary.

The corrected paperwork was filed in the clerk’s office Friday (June 23) morning.

Marini said the donors themselves revealed their work for the city on the initial paperwork. He said the erroneous filing was due to “an input error, easily corrected.”

“They (the donations) were made properly,” Marini said.

When the mayor first ran for office in 2013, his campaign committee had to pay a $100 fine after missing a filing deadline.

Payment History

Prime AE worked for the city prior to Cassetti’s election in 2013. They’ve donated to both Democratic and Republican mayoral candidates in the past. The company has also done work for the City of Derby.

Marini noted Monday that Jayanthan gave $1,000 to the city’s Democrats in 2011, and it was not noted on a campaign disclosure form that his company was doing business with the city.

The following is a list of payments the company has received from Ansonia since 2010:

In 2016-2017, the city has paid the company $39,385.75 for services rendered.

In 2015-2016, the city paid the company $182,226.86.

In 2014-2015, the city paid the company $23,264.

In 2013-2014, the city paid the company $71,938.72.

In 2012-2013, the city paid $254,361.58.

In 2011-2012, the city paid $357,540.05.

In 2010-2011, the city paid $266,932.57.

The Valley Indy reached out to Prime AE Friday.

The following people have given money to “Cassetti For Mayor 2017,” according to records available as of June 21:

Isabella Andretta
Ansonia
Discharge Analyst, Griffin Hospital
$50

Michael D’Alessio
Ansonia
Public Works Director, City of Ansonia
$50

Sheila Butler
Ansonia
Supervisor, Griffin Hospital
$50

Dorothy Cwanke
Retired
$100
Ansonia

Michele Bradshaw
Ansonia
No occupation listed
$25

Debra Butler
Ansonia
No occupation listed
$50

Joyce Paul
Naugatuck
Retired
$50

Gary Zawisza
Ansonia
Flight operations manager, Lockheed Martin-Sikorsky
$100

Anna Andretta
Ansonia
Accounting tech, City of Ansonia
$50

Jeffrey Coppola
Ansonia
Recreation Director, City of Ansonia
$100

Irving Reed
Ansonia
Quality manager, Material Testing Inc.
$50

John Izzo
Ansonia
Real estate agent, Weichert Realtors
$100

Crystal Jaumann
Ansonia
Accountant, Drapp & Jaumann
$100

Jay Jayanthan
Wallingford
Chairman, Prime AE Group
$1,000

Ranjan Manoranjan
Columbus, OH
CPA, GSC, LLC
$1,000

Kumar Buvanendaran
Elliott City, MD
Prime AE Group
$1,000

Shanthini Jayanthan
Wallingford
No occupation listed
$1,000

Nanthini Balakrishnan
Elliott City, MD
IT Specialist, Social Security Administration
$1,000

Nancy Ambrosino
Ansonia
JP Morgan Chase
$100

Donna Cairns
Ansonia
Quality assurance, Sikorsky
$250

Janet Vitarius Waugh
Ansonia
Town and City Clerk, City of Ansonia
$50

Ronald Vaccaro
Ansonia
Broadcaster, Yale University
$50

Linda Vaccaro
Ansonia
Retired
$100

Christine Molina
Shelton
Mayor’s assistant, City of Ansonia
$50

Tracey DeLibero
Ansonia
Secretary, City of Ansonia
$100

Sheila O’Malley
Oakville
Economic development director, City of Ansonia
$50

Marsha Benno
Ansonia
Assessor, City of Ansonia
$100

Joseph Cassetti
Ansonia
Retired
$50

Judith Larkin
Ansonia
Real estate, City of Ansonia
$50

Kathleen Dorsey
Ansonia
Employee FCA, City of Bridgeport
$100

Pasquale Pietrangelo
Ansonia
Retired
$500

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