Is Newton Victim Of Witch Hunt?

Crosland, Newton
Attorney Darnell Crosland and Ernie Newton say Ernie is true blue. CT Post photo Mike Mayko.

A state judge is expected to decide in late March whether to dismiss charges of campaign finance fraud against former State Senator Ernie Newton or schedule a trial date in defense of accusations he falsified $500 in contributions to trigger an $80,000 grant from the Citizens Election Program of publicly financed campaigns for his State Senate bid in 2012. If the judge dismisses the state’s case Newton will be back in play to seek office for this upcoming state cycle. If the trial goes forward it will likely place him on the sidelines. The court hearing on Thursday provides some insight into how Newton’s lawyer will attack the state’s case if the trial takes place.

Newton’s lawyer Darnell Crosland claims state investigators misrepresented the facts in an effort to target Newton who was forced from office in 2005 following federal corruption charges. The state is not accusing Newton of using public funds for personal gain. It charges he manipulated five donors to represent they made contributions without providing the money that helped the campaign qualify for the state grant to finance the race. Crosland on Thursday placed several Newton campaign workers on the stand.

From CT Post scribe Mike Mayko:

For nearly four hours Thursday, Alexander heard testimony from Newton campaign workers and supporters who testified their candidate was not present when the mysterious contributions appeared.

The Rev. Mary McBride-Lee, pastor of El Shaddai Church of God in Christ and a member of Bridgeport’s City Council; Charles Coviello, a longtime Newton supporter; and Loretta Williams, Newton’s campaign treasurer, all testified that Newton walked out of a rally frustrated after learning that he had fallen just $500 short in donations.

More here.



  1. In a city of criminal politicians, Ganim, Fabrizi (crack), Ayala, why should Newton suffer more than they.? In reality, even though Ayala is a criminal, she still is a politician. Granted, criminal politician is redundant.

  2. Lennie, I don’t think I’d use the word “victim” to describe what’s going on here. I’d use the word “result” to describe the “witch hunt.” The one major thing Ernie Newton never did was to be contrite and apologize. And then he challenges authority. What did he expect? They wouldn’t notice? He stands out like the “sore thumb” he is.

  3. Lennie, you said, “If the judge dismisses the state’s case Newton will be back in play to seek office for this upcoming state cycle.” Well what office will he run for? I’m one of those who wish Ernie Newton the best.

    1. Ron, good point. He could run for either of the seats he occupied, State Senate or State House. If the judge dismisses the case, it’s a big if, he will likely run for one of those two seats. If Ernie runs for his old State House seat occupied by Don Clemons I think Ernie wins. He’s popular in the East End. Challenging State Senator Andres Ayala would be a tougher task, but I would not count out Ernie.

  4. He brings attention to himself. When the judge asked him if he had anything to say, Ernie responded “I like the Cowboys.” Really? I mean who does this? Then he also refers to himself as the Black Moses. But even Moses never saw the promised land after roaming in the desert for 40 years. And Moses also never betrayed the people.

  5. *** First off, the assumed victim must be a real witch or warlock for there to be a “witch hunt!” Not an ex-politician using any angle or trump card there is to stay out of jail! Someone get Ernest a Charlie Brown Hat quick so it can rub off some anti-mojo stuff onto his brain to help in his decisionmaking in the future, no? “WHY’S EVERYBODY ALWAYS PICKING ON ME! ***

  6. Trouble sure seems to find him. I am truly perplexed by this man. On the one hand he is a very polite and respectful person. On the other hand, his baggage has baggage.

    I think he is a lightning rod for trouble, and it may just be a damn shame. Witch hunt? That’s pushing it. Where there is smoke there is usually fire, and his choices have not always been the best. I suppose it depends on which neighborhood you live in this town. On the East Side? Yeah, well it works for him. In 130, 131, 132, 133 and 134 … not so much.

    Just stymied, really.


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