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Professor Esty Tests Governor Malloy.

The star has become an embarrassment. How lucky we were last winter, some of Governor Dannel P. Malloy’s closest supporters told us, that Yale professor Daniel Esty had agreed to lead the state’s new energy and environment agency. He’d written books! One just doesn’t find such powerful intellects in the dreary halls of Connecticut government. Esty would standout, they promised.

It took less than six months for their predictions to become a burden for Malloy’s confident administration. Esty is revealed by the Courant today to have engaged in abusive of his position on behalf of a former client’s subsidiary that will require former prosecutor Malloy to act. The Cheshire Democrat made an unprecedented ex-parte intervention in a public utility proceeding for the benefit of Connecticut Light and Power, a subsidiary of Northeast Utilities, involving the foisting of hundreds of millions in fees on ratepayers for the installation of dubious “smart meters.”

Esty had not disclosed that he had an eight year relationship with NU that reaped him more than $200,000 in consulting fees while also teaching at Yale. The intervention in the matter that the proceeding that was going against CL&P was bad enough. The undisclosed lucrative relationship with NU raises this to a high stakes ethics crisis that will mar Malloy and his administration if he fails to act. Esty’s convoluted justification for his grievous errors shows that this mess does not lend itself to spin. Esty has abused his office for the benefit of a powerful and generous former client.

The CL&P application before state utility regulators who were moved under Esty’s jurisdiction this year involved more close to $1 billion in costs to consumers. The benefits to ratepayers, however, seemed tiny compared to the costs, according to the draft opinion of the panel that heard the evidence. The hearing was closed when Esty made his stunning intervention for CL&P.

We’ve discovered what Esty is. Now Malloy will reveal himself.