Thursday, May 05, 2005

Newton Investigation: Wiretap Yields Results

FBI Reports 391 "Incriminating" Calls During 178-day Wiretap

I have to say, this doesn't look good:

The FBI intercepted nearly 400 cell phone conversations it deemed incriminating during a six-month wiretap last year in the corruption investigation into state Sen. Ernest Newton, according to court records and officials.
The FBI labels calls as incriminating if they are relevant and advance an investigation. The calls can be as explicit as describing a crime or as vague as the scheduling of a meeting.

While the number of incriminating calls pales in comparison to the thousands that led to the convictions of former mayors Joseph Ganim in Bridgeport and Philip Giordano in Waterbury, wiretap experts called it significant. (AP)

Newton is one of the most visible and influential members of the Senate, but is currently under investigation for illegally funneling state money to family members. His Capitol offices were searched in January. No arrests have been made, yet.

Democrats don't need a cloud of corruption around one of their top members. Pressure on Newton to resign has apparently abated for now, but fresh news like this (even about a wiretap that ended in November) could increase it again. Republicans may take the time to highlight Newton's difficulties when two competing ethics bills come before the General Assembly in the next few weeks.

As I said, it doesn't look good.

"AP NewsBreak: Newton wiretap snares 391 'incriminating' calls." Associated Press 5 May 2005.

1 comment:

smalltowndem said...

Does anyone really think that Roland and his cronies were the only corrupt pols in CT? I don't think it was just a Republican problem.

Irrelevant aside: Solidly skinflint Republican Woodbury/Bethlehem Region 14 passed it's school budget on the first try. Turnout was 32%. Last year it took five tries. My contacts on the school board say one significant positive factor may have been that the normally critical town financial manager and his friends want funding for a football program for their kids.