Trial of Ex-Donovan Aide Underway

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    A federal prosecutor said secret recordings show a former aide to Connecticut House Speaker Chris Donovan implicated himself in an alleged campaign finance scheme.The trial for Robert Braddock Jr. began Monday in New Haven. (Published Monday, May 13, 2013)

     A federal prosecutor said secret recordings show a former aide to Connecticut House Speaker Chris Donovan implicated himself in an alleged campaign finance scheme.

    The trial for Robert Braddock Jr. began Monday in New Haven.

    Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher Mattei said in his opening statement that Braddock participated in a conspiracy in which roll-your-own tobacco shops sought to prevent the passage of legislation that would hurt their interests.

    Braddock was the finance director of Donovan's failed congressional campaign last year. Prosecutors say Braddock and seven other defendants who have pleaded guilty were involved in a scheme that used straw donors to hide the source of nearly $28,000 in contributions to Donovan's campaign.

    "This is a sad time for me, after spending my political career working to clean up the political process and fix a broken campaign finance system. The government charged people who worked for me, which hurts just as much today as when it happened a year ago. That said, it is time for the judicial process to take its course. Whatever anyone might say or imply, I have not been charged in this case, I am not on trial in this courtroom, and I will not be deterred from continuing to work hard for the causes that are important to the working people of Connecticut,” Donovan said in a statement.

    Paul Rogers, a smoke shop owner, testified Monday that Braddock new about the donations to Donovan's campaign. 

    Defense attorney Frank Riccio said Braddock did not know anything about the conspiracy.

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