Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Connecticut: FBI Investigating Relationship Between Prosecutor and Defender

According to the Hartford Courant, Martin Minnella a prominent Connecticut defense attorney is under investigation by the FBI. He has been bragging to potential clients for years that he has an "in" with State's Attorney John Connelly and can get them better deals if they pay him more money — in effect, extorting funds from them because of the special relationship.

A federal grand jury investigating the relationship between Connelly and Minnella will convene early next week in New Haven to hear testimony from some of those clients, sources familiar with the investigation told the Courant.

Apparently, Connelly is also under investigation. Sources familiar with the investigation told the Courant, that Federal authorities will present evidence on several trips to Las Vegas and at least one to baseball's spring training in Florida that Connelly and Minnella went on that were paid for by Minnella. On some of those trips, Connelly was accompanied by a female friend.

Connelly's office has turned over at least 25 criminal cases; many of them drug cases, to federal authorities for review. Some of them, sources said, involve sentence modifications for Minnella's clients. According to the Courant, Connelly is the only one who can approve sentence modification requests.

States Attorneys in Connecticut are appointed by the Criminal Justice Commission. They serve a term of eight years.

To read more: http://www.courant.com/news/connecticut/hc-waterburygrandjury0902-20100902,0,6653715.story

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