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Newton Receives Six Months In State Prison, Remains Optimistic: ‘Everything Is Going To Turn Out Fine’

March 13th, 2015 · 23 Comments · News and Events

Newton departs Hartford Superior Court after his sentencing. (Hartford Courant photo Michael McAndrews)

Newton departs Hartford Superior Court after his sentencing. (Hartford Courant photo Michael McAndrews)

Noting he received no personal financial benefit, Superior Court Judge Julia Dewey on Friday sentenced former State Senator Ernie Newton to just six months in state prison for violating campaign finance laws. Dewey allowed Newton to remain free pending appeal.

Newton received a mixed verdict from a jury on charges of falsifying $500 in campaign donations that led to approval of roughly $80,000 in public campaign funds for his 2012 Democratic State Senate primary race won by Andres Ayala.

Newton and his lawyer Darnell Crosland argued similar matters have been handled civilly.

Newton took the sentencing in stride Friday afternoon, reminding he was not convicted on the most serious charges.

“God is good,” Newton told OIB by phone after the sentencing. “I’m just grateful that what the state was looking into did not happen. I look forward to fighting for the community.”

When asked how he was holding up he replied optimistically, “Come on. I’m talking to you. Everything is going to turn out fine.”

Newton added he believes the reason he received state time is because Judge Dewy took into account his federal conviction.

The larger question for Newton is how this will impact his federal probation. When charged by the state he was still on federal supervised release going back to his federal conviction on corruption charges 10 years ago.

On Tuesday, Newton is expected to appear before U. S. District Judge Robert Chatigny for violating his federal supervised release. Judge Dewey said she would allow her sentence of Newton to run concurrent with any penalty imposed by Chatigny who could simply extend Newton’s supervised release and/or send him to a federal facility for several months based on violation guidelines.

State Senator Ed Gomes stepped up for Newton urging leniency.

Hartford Courant coverage:

“I don’t see how it benefits anybody for Ernie to do another jail sentence,” said Sen. Edwin A. Gomes, D-Bridgeport. “To put a person in jail for some of the things I heard went on in that campaign, I think, is a little far reaching. I could sit here and name things that are a lot more egregious than what I heard here.”

…Dewey told Newton that she could not ignore his federal conviction, but at the same time saw many mitigating factors. She noted that the jury did not reach a verdict on the most serious charge, first-degree larceny, and acquitted Newton of the felony charge of tampering with a witness. She said that there was no personal financial benefit to Newton, and said the illegal acts were a result of his campaign’s sloppiness and failure to keep track of how much it had raised.

Full story here

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23 Comments so far ↓

  • Grin Ripper

    Keep on grinning, Ernie! You’ve got miles of smiles to go.

  • barry soitera

    He can do six months standing on his head!

  • Jimfox

    Good luck, Ernie!

  • Jeff Kohut

    Not to be funny, Ernie, but you are a trained musician. If the appeal doesn’t bring the desired result, maybe you could use the time to write some tunes about our whole, post-P.T.Barnum Bridgeport experience. (There is certainly material for some great blues tunes in there.)
    Good luck! (Six months goes by fast, even when you’re not where you want to be.)

  • Jennifer Buchanan

    Such a great attitude, Ernie! Hang in there.

  • Maria Pereira

    The reality is if this were a former white senator from the suburbs no criminal charges would have been brought in the first place. This should have been handled by the SEEC, not the criminal courts.

    • Steven Auerbach

      Maria, yawn! That is a very sad remark. Ask Joseph Ganim. He was white last time I looked though some think of him as the first black Mayor.

    • Ron Mackey

      Maria Pereira, you know I didn’t want to go there but we’re talking about $500 and Ernie Newton gets six moths in jail, $500, are you kidding me, six months in jail for $500.

  • Steven Auerbach

    Ernie Newton. Honest, I am saddened by this and hope you find something constructive to do with your time. This is such a waste of taxpayers’ money. Ernie could be utilized in his community rather than spending time in prison. I am certain Ernie will emerge stronger and six months may be a blessing to reinvent himself. That is my hope and well wishes for Ernie Newton.

  • Ron Mackey

    Ernie, I love you man, keep God first in your life and I wish nothing but the best for you and your family. Ernie, there will still be a lot of battles to fight after six months and I think Jeff has a point about music and you. Time will tell.

  • Bob Walsh

    Hang in there, brother. Remember it’s just for today.

  • Hector A. Diaz

    Ernie, you have always been family to me and mine and we will always be there for you, please keep in touch. We also love you, brother!

  • Ernie Newton

    Just like T=to thank you all for the well wishes. I spoke to my probation officer. The guidelines for my offense is four months. So it falls within the six months. So when it’s all over I will truly be a FREE MAN!

    • Local Eyes

      Look at that picture. I have never seen a lawyer and his client so happy after receiving a six-month sentence. But after reading his latest post, I know why.
      Here’s what Criminologists are talking about: it appears EN will be completing his parole while still in jail (giggle). How cozy is that?

  • Joel Gonzalez

    Hey Ernie, if you fail in your appeal and eventually do state or federal time, please do me a favor and look Bubba 1 and 2. Tell them that Steve Auerbach hasn’t been faithful and has a huge crush on a white man.

  • invincible

    Joel Gonzalez … as much as I like to visit OIB … stay in touch with what is happening in Bridgeport … and of course respect everyone’s opinion and maybe you do not care … but please there is no need to go there. I believe Steve A deserves to be respected and no reason for you to go there.

  • Wicca

    So he is in jail this time because of a past offense he already paid for? No big Ernie fan, but I find this excessive.

    • Godiva2011

      Wicca–Ernie is still on federal parole. If during that time he is convicted of another crime and is sentenced to jail time, as in this case, he is automatically remanded to serve time for violation of parole. In most cases, the sentences run concurrently.

  • Lisa Parziale

    Ernie, I am your friend and always will be. Stay strong and in your faith. You have an energy that is meant to help and serve. You will again, be patient and stay positive for this too shall pass.

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