Sunday, March 23, 2008

A Typical Connecticut Scenario?

[from the New Haven Independent]

Eavesdrop On The Cop & The Bondsman

by Staff | March 20, 2008 2:29 PM | | Comments (2)

Read the transcript of the secretly recorded phone conversation that made Paul Jacobs claim he’s innocent after all in a corruption case.

Jacobs is one of three members of a prominent New Haven family’s bond business caught up in a bribery scandal involving the New Haven police department. Jacobs reluctantly entered a guilty plea in that case, but has now changed his mind and wants to plead innocent.

(Click here for background on the Jacobs case. Click here to read Bill Kaempffer’s original Register article about Paul Jacobs’ change of heart.)

Jacobs bases his pitch to change his plea on the transcript of a conversation between him and an undercover state cop, Sgt. Blake Stine. Jacobs said his previous lawyer failed to show him the transcript. The transcript, according to Jacobs’ new lawyer, gives him a crucial out: It allegedly shows that the undercover cop wasn’t claiming to be on the job when he was receiving money from Jacobs to help track down a client.

If he had known about that conversation from the start, Jacobs would never have pleaded guilty, he said.

Read the court filings to judge for yourself; comment below. The transcript can be found here. It runs 27 pages and includes several phone conversations, including one in which Stine caught Jacobs on his cell during a family vacation at Universal Studios.

The key line:

Stine: I’ll find him for you regardless uh, I’m just trying to figure out the best way, cause I, you know I’ve got some, some downtime coming up in the office so I want to start uh, you know, hunting this guy down for ya’ uh.

The question: Did Jacobs therefore believe that he was not hiring an on-duty cop to track down a missing client? And if so, is that a crucial distinction based on previous court rulings and the city’s police union contract?

Jacobs’ new lawyer’s legal argument can be found here. The new attorney is Jon L. Schoenhorn. Jacobs’ previous lawyer was prominent defense attorney Anthony Bowman.

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