Former RGGI Head Fired After Threatening Citizen

Jonathan Schrag, who had influenced policy inNew Hampshire as Executive Director of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, has been fired from his new job as Deputy Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.

Schrag abruptly resigned today less than 24 hours after Hartford Courant columnist Kevin Rennie broke the story of Schrag having left a threatening, intimidating, and politically motivated voicemail message on the phone a citizen. Schrag had been in the post for less than six months since leaving RGGI.

Schrag, a Harvard graduate who won a Fulbright scholarship, apparently had not mastered cell phone technology.

At 11:45 p.m. last Thursday, Cynthia David, who leads a group called the Conservative Womens Forum, received a threatening voice mail message on her home phone: “We are calling from the Democratic Electronic Monitoring Service. We understand that you are an emailer with respect to Democratic candidates. We wish you to know that your emails are being observed. Thank you.”

Based on caller ID, the message was easily traced back to a cell phone belonging to Deputy Commissioner Schrag.

Schrag initially said he had lost his phones and had reported them missing – something that could easily be verified or disproven. When forced to acknowledge that the recorded voice mail message sounded like his voice, Schrag offered a convoluted story about how someone must have surreptitiously recorded him in a private conversation in a social setting. He also suggested that perhaps he had “pocket dialed” the woman by accident, which would necessitate having her phone number in his phone.

 With implausibilities compounding, Schrag resigned within 18 hours of the original story breaking.

Schrag had been the Executive Director of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative for three years prior to taking the high ranking post in Connecticut Gov. Dan Malloy’s administration. As head of RGGI, Schrag had coordinated the much criticized cap and trade program affectingNew Hampshire. Before the RGGI post, Schrag had been Assistant Director of the Earth Institute atColumbiaUniversityand the Executive Director of theLenfestCenterfor Sustainable Energy, where he ran policy research programs on carbon capture, according to an old bio.

fergus@ferguscullen.com, February 29, 2012

Author: Fergus Cullen

Fergus Cullen is a former chairman of the New Hampshire Republican Party (2007-2008) and an editorial page columnist for the New Hampshire Union Leader.

Share This Post On
468 ad