Construction records show how a former Connecticut official directed a school building project that’s now part of a federal investigation

When the town of Tolland realized it had to build a new, $46 million elementary school three years ago, Kostas Diamantis, then a politically-influential, top state official, took control of the project. Diamantis told the town who they were to hire as general contractor and the consultant the town was to hire as its owner’s representative on the project, according to four town officials closely involved the project. If the town objected, Diamantis replied that it could cost them millions in state financing, the officials said. Tolland’s new Birch Grove school opened last year. Danbury’s ambitious high school project on the site of the former Union Carbide headquarters is still in planning. Both are now points on interest in an expansive federal investigation that appears from public records to be centered on Diamantis, who Gov. Ned Lamont fired on Oct. 28, a week after his administration was served with a federal grand jury subpoena that alerted it to the investigation. As deputy secretary of the Office of Policy and Management, Diamantis ran a budget office that distributed hundreds of millions of state dollars on a variety of projects that included state-financed public school construction and conversion of the State Pier in New London to a hub for offshore wind energy development.

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