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Gov. Malloy defends CTfastrak record as controversy erupts

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NEW BRITAIN–Gov. Dan Malloy and other officials took a stroll down New Britain’s Main Street on Wednesday to visit several local businesses.

It was a check-up with businesses to see how they’re fairing since the CTfastrak station opened in March.

Malloy and other leaders discussed the economic growth that has spun out of the project, including the pllaned revitalization of a rundown building in the area, which will be turned into a housing unit.

“The city of New Britain has seen an uptick in activity,” said New Britain Mayor Erin Stewart. “We’ve seen lots and lots of more visitors.”

CTfastrak drew criticism because of its high cost, which totals more than $500 million.

The state launched an aggressive public relations campaign to tout its success.

Wednesday, Malloy and Transportation Commissioner James Redeker addressed a recent Associated Press report which unearthed emails that showed that Transit Administrator Michael Sanders may have used a “stage name” to post positive comments about the bus system on the Hartford Courant’s website.

“I think in his case he shouldn’t have done it, it was a mistake,” said Malloy.

Malloy believes Sanders should have used his name, but says as far as he knows the information was not untrue.

It was a similar sentiment to the one Redeker offered.

“We will work with Michael using appropriate DOT procedures to investigate,” said Redeker, “and when that’s done the issue will be closed but frankly what he did was to clear a fact based and advocate for a project and I think those are good things.”

When asked whether this will fuel the fire of CTfastrak critics, Malloy had a curt response.

“Only if they are stupid,” said Malloy. “As for the numbers, we are exceeding the numbers.”

Redeker also said Sanders is not on administrative leave, and will not be put on it.