Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Connecticut "Mafia Style"?

Louis DeLuca with his wife Alice on October 15, 2007. (SHANA SURECK)

Deluca Criticizes State Legislators

By CHRISTOPHER KEATING | The Hartford Courant
12:35 PM EST, November 19, 2008

Former Senate Republican leader Louis Deluca lashed out Wednesday, saying that legislators were hypocrites for investigating his misdemeanor conviction last year and refusing to investigate numerous Democratic lawmakers regarding drunken driving, sexual abuse, engaging in a bar fight, witnessing a bribe, forging an application for public campaign funds, and having an affair with a legislative liaison.

In a 33-minute news conference that he called at the state Capitol complex, DeLuca said he was not bitter or angry. Instead, he said he was "disappointed, probably a little hurt, and a lot frustrated'' over having to endure a Senate investigation last year while Democrats did not. While that investigation was still proceeding, DeLuca resigned from the Senate almost exactly one year ago.

DeLuca decided to speak out Wednesday because a long-running ethics complaint against him was finally settled this week. In the stipulated settlement with the state ethics office, DeLuca agreed to pay $2,500 on a complaint that he essentially received a gift from a registered lobbyist when he agreed that now-convicted Danbury trash magnate James Galante would have someone "pay a visit'' to the husband of DeLuca's grand daughter because DeLuca believed that the man was physically abusing her.

Under state law, Galante was deemed to be engaged in lobbying because his trash-hauling companies were registered lobbyists in Connecticut.

Despite paying the $2,500 civil penalty, DeLuca denied in the agreement "that his conduct violated Connecticut general statutes'' and that "he is entering into this stipulation and consent order solely to avoid the cost and uncertainty of litigation.'' DeLuca also denied that the Galante's offer of a 'visit' was actually a gift, "and because the visit never occurred, respondent denies that he accepted a gift,'' according to the five-page agreement that DeLuca signed.

DeLuca said he called the press conference so that he will sleep better at night.

"I know I did something wrong,'' DeLuca said. "I'm not here to alibi it.''

State Republican chairman Christopher Healy spoke after the news conference and defended DeLuca's main points. Healy said that DeLuca "absolutely'' would still be a member of the state Senate if he was a Democrat.

Derek Slap, a spokesman for Senate President Pro Tem Donald Williams, said, "It is sad, considering the difficult times facing Connecticut and its families, that the leader of the Republican Party and a disgraced former senator would waste everybody's time slinging mud. We're focused on working with Governor Rell to solve the budget crisis.''

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This is how too many legislators act in Connecticut. If they are all "mobbed up" how can they actually "serve" constituents? If a citizen wants justice, wants ethics, and gets "mouthy", he or she can be falsely arrested and throw in prison. Lives are ruined because Connecticut is being run Deluca style. [more]


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