Federal Judge Tosses Major Election Charge Against Former City Councilman As He Prepares For Trial On Remaining Counts

A federal judge has dismissed a key charge against former City Councilman Michael DeFilippo who must still fend off absentee ballot fraud allegations at his trial scheduled for September 18.

From Dan Tepfer, CT Post:

U.S. District Judge Victor Bolden on Monday dismissed the first count of the indictment against Michael DeFilippo charging DeFilippo with engaging in a conspiracy against constitutional rights by interfering with qualified voters’ right to vote and have their undiluted votes counted in his election to the Bridgeport City Council.

The charge of conspiracy against constitutional rights carried a maximum term of 10 years in prison

Judge Bolden granted the motion to dismiss based on the argument of DeFilippo’s lawyer, Francis O’Reilly that there is no federal constitutional right to vote and have one’s vote counted in state or municipal elections and primaries.

DeFilippo still faces trial on Sept. 18 on identity theft and fraudulent registration offenses which carry a maximum of five years in prison.

The federal indictment states that in the run-up to both the April 2018 primary and June 2018 special election, DeFilippo distributed voter registration and absentee balloting materials to his tenants. His goal was to have his tenants register as Democrats, which would enable them to vote in the local primary election, and to then have his tenants vote by absentee ballot, the indictment states. In order to achieve this goal, the indictment continue that DeFilippo completed voter registrations and absentee ballot applications on his tenants behalf and directed them to sign these documents. He also instructed an unindicted coconspirator to forge several absentee ballots and submit them on his behalf.

“Assuming, as the court must for the purposes of this inquiry, that all the government’s factual allegations are true, and that the alleged conspiracy existed, the question becomes whether that conspiracy interfered with a right secured by either the United States Constitution or a federal statute,” Judge Bolden stated. “Regarding the latter, the undersigned has been unable to locate any federal statute that confers upon the citizenry a general right to vote in local primary elections. In fact, it is highly doubtful that Congress even possesses the power to pass such legislation. State elections are and always have been the sole province of the states.”

Full story here



  1. Say it ain’t so! Absentee ballots they say?! 😂
    Tenants! Out of town student tenants too??
    Unindicted Co-conspirator?!!
    Who said those comments were personal?
    It’ll be pled down and a fine paid. We all know how this works.

  2. Wait what?

    “ Judge Bolden granted the motion to dismiss based on the argument of DeFilippo’s lawyer, Francis O’Reilly that there is no federal constitutional right to vote and have one’s vote counted in state or municipal elections and primaries.”

    Aren’t there several laws that regulate the right to vote in state elections? So the registrar could just decide to not count votes for mayor in certain (minority) districts since there’s no federal constitutional right to have your vote counted?


    1. @Joseph Sokolovic
      As I remember from Con Law in Law School years ago…………………….
      #1 State and municipal elections fall under states rights. Powers not assigned/reserved in the Constitution to the Federal Government belong to the States
      #2 Municipalities don’t exist in the US Constitution. The two levels of government are Federal and State. States create municipalities and can alter boundaries, approve breakaways (Bridgeport was part of Stratford. Tim Herbst pissed off the State regarding the Fairchild Wheeler Interdistrict Magnet HS and all of a sudden 48 acres in Trumbull became part of Bridgeport and your PAL building is in Trumbull)

      #3 This is not to say that a Federal action could not be brought regarding a municipal or state election, but it would have to claim that a Federal Right, such as Civil Rights, or a Federal Act was violated.
      In this specific case such a violation was not charged.

      1. It’s number 3 for me. Could the right to vote and to have that vote counted in any election, state or otherwise, in and of itself be construed (and federally protected either by an act, or an amendment to constitution) as a civil right so precious that it is subject to federal rule.

        There is precedent, certain states subject to federal oversight before redistricting, women’s right to vote, African American right to vote.

        1. When I saw that, the first thing that crossed my mind was that ‘the fix was in’. Defilippo’s connection with Mario et al will certainly not hurt him. Slinging drinks for Mario has been a great benefit for him. I watched how it all unfolded for years as “the machine” finally succeeded in getting him the approval for his liquor store. Now we’ll get to see how this unfolds. My ‘just a fine’ prediction still stands. Anything more than that is just a bonus.

        2. @JS
          Regarding your precedents……………….
          HELLO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ERA was never ratified. Thank you white Republican Women of America such as Phyllis Schaffley and Anita Bryant. Don’t confuse our Blue State Constitution with the US Constitution.

          IF a claim and charge had been made/brought that African Americans had been targeted in this voter fraud charge, it could have moved forward under a Federal Civil Rights claim based on the Post Civil War Amendments.

          With your party in charge of the US House and the majority of State Legislatures there is NO chance in Hell of an Amendment to the US Constitution expanding Voter Rights passing and getting ratified. Also no chance of a new Federal Law.

          YOUR Party (Guilt by association…I like you not your affiliation) wants low voter turnout and as many impediments to voting as possible,

          1. 1. Why did you make a simple question about my FORMER party? Seems kinda like you were triggered for some reason.

            Someone pulling your strings that is ignorant of my party change?

      2. Thank you for providing a brief law lesson that pulls together all three levels of governance and identifies the ‘players’ and their rules that must be addressed when something seems off the tracks or merely broken.
        Patience is required in pursuing just results, and lack of patience is not an excuse for giving up a struggle. As is often commented, our municipal issues are a marathon to understand, unwind, and re-set to provide citizens greater opportunities for better outcomes.

        Comments to City Council Last Night
        CC Comments- Leadership, Practices, and Results

        Does anyone not pay attention when a speaker indicates, “this is my friend, my brother, or neighbor, “’in whom I am well pleased’”? You doubtless have heard the scripture using the translation ‘well pleased.’ While we look out to our community, who do we see fitting a definition that deserves your designation of any individual who causes you pride, hope, and calls you to a state of “well pleased”?

        It is summer 2023 in the City of Bridgeport and in less than a month an incumbent mayor elected by the people (or a minority of folks who are registered voters) faces a primary challenge. Perhaps three other members of his partisan group, the Bridgeport Democratic party who hear and see municipal issues and concerns in the city at-large, disagree enough to contest the administration of the incumbent. In the past three decades, this Mayor has served nearly 20 years in office, in addition to serving seven years as a Federal convicted inmate for his multiple corrupt activities while serving the highest municipal office initially.

        Faith cultures and political traditions set standards for future behavior when one admits to behavior otherwise not condoned by a community. In the Bridgeport situation the larger community never were actual witnesses to a confession including a pledge of remorse and change in the future. Anyone looking for a change in caring about people in general and more inclusion of a large and diverse population in line with democratic practices will be disappointed. That is why several members of the community are seeking the highest office at the moment. And they have found support for change in many of your districts too. Ability, experience, integrity ,and caring are present character values among them.

        Who among you supports improving outcomes in Bridgeport by raising the bar for data and decision-making to be better observed? Who believes that better administrative practices including regular training and evaluation will create better and faster execution by City employees of their work effort? Who understands that recruiting and selection of quality employees and regular oversight of their activities, rather than their personalities, may move us forward dramatically? The short of it is: Who cares? About student outcomes year after year using adequate resources? About public safety in homes, at work, at gatherings, or on the street? About listening to a public that is frustrated and turned off today? Time will tell.

  3. Don’t sugarcoat it — when charges get dismissed, the downside gets reduced and the upside gets increased.
    It’s like starting the game and you are already winning by ten points!

  4. ATT: Joseph S
    MY APOLOGIES……………………..
    Last I knew you ran as and were elected as a Republican.
    I was not aware of your unenrollment from the GOP. Let me offer my congratulations on the decision. I stated that I liked you, not your (now former) affiliation.

    I have zero respect for the contemporary Republican Party and its members. Gone are the days of my youth with reasonable Republicans, such as Nelson Rockefeller, or Kenneth Keating. Even M. Jodi Rell had an open mind and worked for the best interests of the people, not the party.

    1. No worries. I may very well switch back depending on what happens in the next few months. I’m a purpose over patty driven individual. My political leanings are so varied that no party platforms can hold my values.

      Let’s be realistic, the problems in Bridgeport are not caused by any party other than the Democratic Party, the Republican Party in Bridgeport is no more than a toothless tiger. Where as a true opposition party should be directly challenging the Dems (especially when they are so very corrupted in Bridgeport), they cower in silence.

      the only ways to challenge the inept Bridgeport DTC and governance is through third parties (WFP) or challenge slates (GO GOMES)!

      I will never be able to fit in a box so I work WITHIN the law and change parties from time to time to ensure the board cannot be controlled by the current DTC. I may or may not change back to primary the republicans for my board seat should I decide to run again in two years. The Bridgeport Republican Party is a disgrace. Look at the recent press regarding the Supt search, and resulting resignations.

      Look at the ad for the Lincoln Dinner attendees, and awardees. The definition of an ineffective party.

      1. @JS
        I have no use for the Bpt DTC and machine.
        That said, I lived the first 34 years of my life in New Haven, while not as corrupt at the Bridgeport machine, the last Republican Mayor left office in 1953. The BOE was appointed by the Mayor (and he still appoints most). The Mayor has often been chair of the BOE, ridiculous.

        I then went to Hamden where control of the Mayor’s office and the Council went back and forth with some regularity. Then I moved to Trumbull. Control has gone back and forth. The good thing is that we have minority party representation, so no party can have more than 2 of 3 Council seats in each district or. a super majority for veto proof action.
        All Boards and Commissions have limits on how many from each party. and the BOE has an even number of members and only half can be from one party. This makes a bipartisan vote required for all action for the schools.

        Bridgeport needs a complete Charter overhaul and new blood all around. Personally, I’d like to see a PROFESSIONAL City Manager type of government.

  5. Joe Soko It is prime time for you to think about taking over and rebuilding the Bridgeport Republican party. You are much smarter than any of the present RTC members, and Mike Garrett fears you. He feared you so much that he wanted you to primary the first time you were going for BOE even though he lacked party endorsed candidates. He fears intelligent motivated people that he can not control. A few years ago the party was driven into hiding by a former RTC member and Garrett was so scared that he closed the meetings to the public, he decided to close ranks and fill the sheriff slots with himself, Rick Torres and his spineless pee on Mike Moretti. Add in the borderline incompetent Registrar of Voters Linda Grace and they have all the guaranteed paying Republican jobs for themselves. Organize now. Take away those jobs and the party will be yours. If I can be of any help, don’t hesitate to ask.

  6. Diversity of people. Differences of opinion, beliefs, and experience. These are potential elements for community conversations. Active listening to each other, clarifying facts and genuine understandings, drafting activities and actions together that may change outcomes for citizens of Bridgeport/ Time will tell.


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