Former Donovan Campaign Manager Sentenced to 28 Months

By Ari Mason
|  Thursday, Sep 19, 2013  |  Updated 3:26 PM EDT
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Former Donovan Campaign Manager Sentenced to 28 Months

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The former campaign manager for ex-Connecticut House Speaker Christopher Donovan was sentenced in federal court today to 28 months in prison followed by a year of supervised release. He was also ordered to pay a $6,000 fine.

Joshua Nassi, 35, formerly of Fairfield, was sentenced after pleading guilty to one count of conspiracy to make false statements to the Federal Election Commission and to impede the commission’s enforcement of federal campaign finance laws.

He’s accused of helping to further a scheme involving illegal campaign contributions made while Donovan vied for the 5th Congressional District campaign seat.

Donovan later withdrew from the race.

It happened in 2011 while roll-your-own smoke shops were facing legislation that proposed a tax increase on shop-rolled cigarettes.

Shop owners collaborated to donate nearly $28,000 to the campaign in hopes that then-House Speaker Donovan would prevent the legislation from being pushed through. The checks were disguised as personal contributions, according to the states attorney’s office.

“Seeking to gain an edge in a high-pressure congressional campaign, this defendant traded promises of legislative action in exchange for illegal campaign contributions,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Dierdre M. Daly, in a release from the states attorney's office.

Former campaign finance manager Robert Braddock, Jr. was sentenced last month to more than three years in prison.

In June, a Middlebury man was sentenced for his alleged involvement in the scheme.

Donovan was not charged.

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