For decades I have studied economic development, specifically urban redevelopment. I am intrigued by the return of communities. Various policies and approaches can revitalize large projects and neighborhoods. But often an ugly side of economic development is corruption. Recent federal and journalistic investigations into school construction in Connecticut demonstrate the importance of accountability.
AAIS Corp. of West Haven received a majority of contracts for work on state buildings in recent years. Interestingly, a former company executive had pleaded guiltyin 2001, for fraud in a case related to the first administration of Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim, who was convicted in 2003 and service time in prison for corruption. Recently, Dan Haar of Hearst Connecticut made a story about AAIS selection for a school assignment in Bridgeport.