State Senator Dennis Bradley has broken his silence regarding the federal charges against him for alleged manipulation of Connecticut’s campaign finance program telling the Connecticut Post “I tell the people, ‘Read the charges lodged against me by the government and you will conclude one of two things: Either it is a misunderstanding of facts or it is a political smear. “This is not a crime of moral turpitude, an allegation of rape or murder or theft.”
Read the indictment.
Bradley is charged with multiple counts of wire fraud that will certainly short-circuit his young, ambitious political career that includes the desire to become mayor. Exonerated at trial and you’ll see an emboldened Bradley full speed ahead.
Bradley understands he’s battling the election clock, according to the Post article.
“I want my trial to come in May with no continuances or any other reason to postpone or delay this process. I stand by the fact America, this great country, says I am unequivocally innocent until proven otherwise beyond a reasonable doubt.”
Legally, Bradley’s well represented by seasoned criminal defense lawyer James Glasser, schooled in the machinations of the federal system having served many years as a public corruption prosecutor.
Assistant Chief Administrative Officer Herron Gaston is the favorite to receive the Democratic endorsement in May in advance of a potential primary. City Councilman Ernie Newton is threatening to get in the race as well. Will others jump in? It’s becoming late for that if opponents participate in Connecticut’s Citizens Election Program of publicly funded races, a time-consuming process to qualify for roughly a $100,000 grant, the portal Bradley is accused of violating, including:
— Leveraging his law firm as a campaign front for what was clearly a candidacy announcement for state office on March 15, 2018 at Dolphin’s Cove in the East End.
— Raising campaign money at the event in violation of state law.
— Directing campaign staff to falsify donation cards to reflect the fundraising did not take place March 15, 2018.
— Using $6,000 dollars of his own money, transferred from a personal law firm account, to pay for the Dolphin’s Cove event, in violation of state law.
— Not reporting, as required by state law, the personal expenditure on campaign finance reports.
— Falsifying campaign finance reports to receive $84,140 of public dollars in aid of his campaign.
— Trying to do the same for the general election, but was rejected by the State Elections Enforcement Commission when it discovered numerous irregularities.
The text exchange between Bradley and his then campaign consultant Bieu Tran, who is not charged in the case, is telling.
“Wouldn’t that be illegal?” he asked, the intermingling of campaign event with law firm artifice?
“No it’s a BDK Law group party,” responded Bradley, a lawyer.
And therein lies one of the problems for Bradley. Tran will likely be a witness at trial. The government has several other witnesses lined up.
During the federal investigation and prior to the charges, Bradley asserted that the peccadillos should be handled civilly and not as a criminal matter.
This case is the first of its kind in Connecticut, federal charges based on the state’s campaign finance program involving public dollars.
Former State Rep. Chris Caruso, two-time mayoral contender, was one of the architects of the program following the federal conviction of former Governor John Rowland.
Looming question: Will Bradley testify in his own defense? He’ll be tempted because he certainly empowers a gift for gab and makes a nice presentation. Problem is when you take the stand you cannot spin your way out of the questions on cross examination.
Ultimately, that’s a call Glasser will make based on the trial playing out. Glasser won’t stick Bradley up there if he feels it’ll do more damage than good. But will attorney Bradley follow his lawyer’s advice?