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Arbiter Says No Fraud By Most State Employees In Food Aid Investigation

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In the days after Irene hit Connecticut, a shop in Chester offered water to people whose electric-powered well pumps were unusable because of a lack of power. Photo by WTIC's Matt Dwyer.

In the days after Irene hit Connecticut, a shop in Chester offered water to people whose electric-powered well pumps were unusable because of a lack of power. Photo by WTIC’s Matt Dwyer.

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Nearly all the state workers  fired for alleged fraud involving emergency food aid after Tropical Storm Irene will be getting their jobs back. An arbitrator ruled that in many of the cases,  employees made a mistake in applying —  but did not actually commit fraud.  Their punishment was reduced to a 30-working day suspenion without back pay.

Governor Malloy told the Office of Labor Relations to review each arbitration decison,  to see whether the cases should be appealed.

Governor Malloy’s office issued a statement saying that he had made clear from the beginning that anyone involved in the investigation of the food assistance known as D-SNAP would be entitled to due process —  and says the announcement today is proof that they did indeed receive due process.

Attorney Rich Rochlin,  who represents about 60 of the workers in the D-SNAP investigation, says most opted for an expedited arbitration process,  and that all his clients were reinstated, effective the end of the month.

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