Al Barbarotta should not serve as both the facilities manager and the owner's representative for the Trumbull School District, according to one recommendation of a recently-released draft report by Internal Auditor James Henderson.
The Board of Education and retired Schools Supt. Ralph Iassogna analyzed the 16-page draft report Tuesday night, challenging areas with which they disagreed. This past summer, the report's findings led Henderson to file an ethics complaint, which was later dismissed.
In the end, the school board on Tuesday agreed to draft a response by the Nov. 13 school board meeting.
Several of Henderson's findings claimed Barbarotta had conflicts of interest and tried to influence the town to use companies in which he served.
- "As the facilities manager for the Board of Education, Barbarotta attempted to influence the Board of Education to hear a presentation and potentially hire an energy company to perform energy efficiency services for the school district. Mr. Barbarotta holds a management position with Conveo Energy, the company in question."
- "Barbarotta and Conveo Energy LLC and officials of the Trumbull Board of Education attempted to circumvent the public bid process to award Conveo Energy LLC to work outside of the normal bid procurement process. Town officials also worked to assist Mr. Barbarotta in providing Conveo Energy LLC with pertinent information that would have provided them with an unfair advantage if energy efficiency services were to be publicly bid."
- "Mr. Barbarotta attempted to influence the first selectman, the chief of police, members of the Emergency Management Shelter Building Committee, to install a fuel cell instead of a generator at Trumbull High School." Barbarotta lobbied for Conveo Energy, Henderson said.
"Acting as facilities manager for the Board of Education, Mr. Barbarotta authorized the hiring of contractors to ... remove snow from public school buildings in the amount of $972,000," Henderson wrote.
The amount was approved without a bid, in violation of policy, and Barbarotta hired workers with whom he had previous business relationships, Henderson said. He also charged that payment was approved outside of proper procedure.
Henderson recommended that bidding procedures be followed at all times and that the Board of Education develop a bid for on-call services.
Although the details of the ethics complaint are classified because it was dismissed, it targeted Barbarotta and several school officials and school-related volunteers.
Henderson was invited to the school board's next meeting Nov. 13.