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It Takes Two? Bridgeport Elects 2nd Dem Who’s a Convicted Felon in 3 Years

November 8, 2017 By Staff
It Takes Two? Bridgeport Elects 2nd Dem Who’s a Convicted Felon in 3 Years

Ernie Newton went to prison for taking bribes. Joe Ganim went to prison for racketeering, extortion, bribery, and mail fraud. Both now serve in Bridgeport's city government.

Ernie Newton, a Bridgeport Democrat who went to prison for pleading guilty to taking bribes in 2005, was elected to the Bridgeport City Council on Tuesday night.

Newton was the top vote-getter for District 139, earning 38 percent of the vote.

Newton is a convicted felon who served time in the mid-2000s, and is currently appealing a six-month jail sentence, according to reporting from the Hartford Courant in 2015.

The 59-year-old Bridgeport Democrat was convicted Jan. 16 on three counts of illegal practices in campaign financing, felonies punishable by up to five years in prison. Newton previously served time in prison after pleading guilty in 2005 to federal charges that included taking bribes.

On Tuesday night, the CT Post also pointed out Newton is appealing.

What makes Newton’s situation different from Ganim’s is that Ganim was free and clear of the legal system. Newton is still appealing a 2015 conviction and associated six-month prison sentence for campaign finance fraud related to his failed 2012 General Assembly bid. He has been allowed to remain free during the appeal and has gotten a job with with the nonprofit Career Resources Inc., helping ex-felons like himself find work and job training.

More incredible is Newton is not the only person convicted on crimes, while in office, to be elected to a position of import in Bridgeport. In fact, the highest-ranking official in the city, Mayor Joe Ganim (D), is a convicted felon.

Ganim is also exploring a run for governor, as we pointed out in May.

Mayor Joe Ganim (D-Bridgeport), who spent seven years in prison for public corruption, filed papers to explore a run for governor of Connecticut on Thursday.

Ganim was convicted of “racketeering, extortion, bribery and mail fraud, among other felonies” in 2003.

Is electing people who were convicted of abusing their public positions a new trend in Bridgeport politics?