(UPDATED Sept. 29) Connecticut is a land of paradoxes. On the one hand, while some are trying to make secrecy the norm again, we still have some of the strongest freedom-of-information and open-government laws in the country. On the other hand, our state is sometimes run like a third-world country, replete with enough graft and chicanery to make Boss Tweed blush.
September 27, 2013
June 5, 2013
On Nov. 2, 2011, federal investigators were made aware of a conspiracy to influence a key state legislator in an effort to preserve a tax loophole for smoke shops using roll-your-own tobacco machines in Connecticut. CTNewsJunkie has provided all the pertinent evidence from the corruption trial of Robert Braddock Jr. in an easy format where you can read, listen, or watch it in chronological order.
APRIL 3, 2012: Inside a Finance committee meeting, Aresimowicz discovers that there is to be activity on the RYO legislation and appears to participate in the scheme by sending a text message (Exhibit 34) to warn Soucy. Bear in mind that Soucy has already used coded language in a previous telephone conversation to tell Aresimowicz how much money Chris Donovan received to let the RYO legislation die.
May 28, 2013
APRIL 3, 2012: Laura Jordan, House Speaker Chris Donovan’s chief of staff at the state Capitol, sends a text message to Assist. Majority Leader Joseph Aresimowicz in an effort to ascertain if there is to be activity on the roll-your-own legislation coming up.
May 26, 2013
APRIL 3, 2012: Inside a Finance committee meeting, Assist. Majority Leader Aresimowicz discovers that there was to be activity on the RYO legislation. He then appears to participate in the scheme by sending a text message to Harry “Ray” Soucy to let him know. Bear in mind that Soucy has already used coded language in a previous telephone conversation to tell Aresimowicz how much money Chris Donovan received to let the RYO legislation die.
DEC. 23, 2011: Assist. Majority Leader Joe Aresimowicz calls and informs Harry “Ray” Soucy that he enjoyed the cigar. Soucy tells Aresimowicz that Chris Donovan received $10,000 in relation to the smoke shop bill, seemingly using coded language to disguise the fact that he is discussing a dollar amount.
Exhibit 21, Clips 3, 5, 6, 7
DEC. 8, 2011: Patrick Castagna, Tracey Scalzi, Paul Rogers, and Harry “Ray” Soucy arrive at a fundraiser for House Speaker Chris Donovan’s congressional campaign at the Waterbury Marriott. The group is met by Campaign Finance Director Robert Braddock Jr. as they sign in, and Castagna hands two checks to Braddock.