Feds Weighing Probation Violation Against Newton

From Mike Mayko, CT Post:

(HARTFORD) Former State Sen. Ernest Newton’s legal problems are growing.

The U.S. Probation Department is expected to charge Newton with violating the terms of supervised release as a result of his Jan. 4 state arrest on larceny, illegal campaign practices and tampering with a witness. He is expected to plead not guilty to those charges during his Jan. 17 arraignment in Superior Court here.

However, the forthcoming federal supervised release violation is based on conditions imposed by now retired U.S. District Judge Alan H. Nevas when he sentenced Newton on federal corruption charges in February, 2006.

In addition to a five-year prison term, Nevas ordered Newton to spend the first three years after his Aug. 13, 2010 release from prison being supervised by the U.S. Probation Department. Nevas warned the former legislator that being arrested for any local, state or federal is a violation and could land him back in federal prison for anywhere from four to 10 months.

But since Nevas retired as a federal judge, the Newton case was reassigned to U.S. District Judge Robert N. Chatigny.

Once the violation charge is filed, Chatigny will schedule a hearing at which time Newton, who is represented by Darnell Crosland, will be advised of the federal government’s action and be asked to admit, deny or challenge the charge.

Newton has declined comment and referred all questions to Crosland, who did not return a phone call Friday.

“The arrest, in and of itself, is not sufficient to establish that a violation occurred,” said Jeffrey Meyer, a former federal prosecutor in Connecticut who now teaches law at both Quinnipiac and Yale Law schools. “But it’s really rare to see a trial on a supervised release violation.”

Additionally, Meyer doubts the U.S. Attorney’s office would want to press their case while the state matter is pending.

“They wouldn’t want to do anything that would be perceived as stepping on the state’s case,” said Meyer pointing out that Deputy Chief State’s Attorney Leonard Boyle is a former federal prosecutor in Connecticut. Should Newton be convicted on any of the state charges that would be sufficient to constitute a violation of his federal supervision.

“Under that scenario, it would be beneficial for an accused to admit to a violation with the hope that the judge would look more favorably on him at sentencing,” said Frank Riccio II, a Bridgeport defense lawyer who has handled numerous violation proceedings.



  1. The next step for Ernie Newton would be to set up a defense fund. The Ernie Newton Defense Fund shall be managed by an independent group, of course. Let’s get this going! Godiva2011 can lead the group managing the defense fund with yahooy as her assistant. Just announce the formation of the defense fund and I’ll gladly donate.

  2. This is a little over the top. I’m wondering why the state charges were filed in the first place. According to more than one source the SEEC normally fines individuals who have violated elections laws. The Post is reporting the feds have filed a violation of probation charge against Newton.

    Somewhere along the line Moses pissed off the wrong person.


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