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HARTFORD -- Attorney General Richard Blumenthal has asked a private foundation associated with the official residence of Gov. John G. Rowland to describe the "furnishings" on which it has reported spending more than $200,000 since Rowland was first elected in 1995. Blumenthal also complained that the way the Executive Residence Conservancy Inc. had reported its finances to his office had obscured its purchases and contributions.
And he asked the foundation to list where each item is located and the name of the vendor from which it was purchased.
The attorney general made the request in a letter to Wilson Wilde, the former Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection and Insurance Co. executive who chairs the residence foundation. Blumenthal said he has a legal responsibility "for ensuring that all funds designated for public or charitable purposes are properly managed and expended.''
He said that while reports the foundation submitted to his office between 1997 and 2001 showed that it had maintained a "considerable cash balance," the organization reported no interest or investment income over those years.
At the same time, he said, the foundation reported a total of $532,978 in "other changes in net assets or fund balances.''
"In each of these years, the stated explanation for the change has been the purchase of furnishings," Blumenthal said. "Because you have chosen to report this activity as a change in fund balance rather than as a normal expenditure, information that normally would have been disclosed in your reports has not been provided.''
The foundation's federal tax returns reported that it spent $21,992 on "furnishings" in 2000, $32,098 in 1999, $128,309 in 1998, and $73,263 in 1997.
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