Gaffey, Thomas P.

District towns: Cheshire, Meriden, Middlefield, Middletown

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Election history: Gaffey won an open seat in 1994, succeeding Democrat Amelia P. Mustone.

2008 general election:

Tim Lenox (R) 10,543 26 percent
Thomas P. Gaffey (D) 27,387 67 percent
Thomas P. Gaffey (WF) 3,089 8 percent

Public financing: Gaffey received $84,900 in public financing under the Citizens’ Election Program and returned a surplus of $31,005.58.

Background: With a dozen years as co-chair of the Education Committee, Gaffey has been an influential legislator on education policy in Hartford. He also has been active nationally serving on a National Conference of State Legislature’s task force examining No Child Left Behind.

Gaffey’s tenure has been marked by allegations of ethical improprieties.

Republicans and some Democrats urged an ethics investigation after Hartford Courant columnist Kevin Rennie disclosed that Gaffey was dating the lobbyist for the Connecticut State University system at a time when Gaffey was advocating for CSU’s request for a billon-dollar bonding authorization. The Office of State Ethics found no violation of state ethics rules.

But Gaffey was hit with a significant penalty in 2009 for double billing the legislature and his political action committee for the same travel expenditures, a violation described by the SEEC as a “serious and grave act.”  He settled the case with the State Elections Enforcement Commission, agreeing to a $6,000 fine, the dissolution of his PAC and the forfeiture of its assets.

Despite the controversies, Gaffey was re-elected in 2008 with nearly 75 percent of the vote.

Committees: Aging, Education (co-chair), Executive and Legsilative Nominations, Finance

Education: B.A., Southern Connecticut State University

Occupation: Director of recycling and enforcement, Connecticut Resources Recovery Authority

2008 Financial Disclosure: Gaffey’s only outside income was a salary from the CRRA. He does not own any real estate. He owns several mutual funds.

He reported having no debts in excess of $10,000.

A note on financial disclosure: Every spring, officials are required to disclose the ownership of real estate, the source of any income exceeding $1,000 in the previous calendar year and securities worth more than $5,000. They also are required to file an addendum in which they report any debt of more than $10,000; this may by law be kept confidential.