Attorney: Federal Probe Is “Clear and Present Danger” to Lawyers


Some of the most high-profile lawyers are being investigated by federal investigators, and a defense attorney is saying the investigation "a clear and present danger" to lawyers.

Defense attorney Norm Pattis confirmed on Thursday that federal investigators are looking into ties between his client, fellow defense attorney Martin Minella and Waterbury State's Attorney John Connelly.

Pattis wrote a blog post on Thursday, called “A Shameful Squeeze in Waterbury.” and told The Associated Press that investigators are looking into trips the two men took together to Las Vegas, but he said Connelly reimbursed Minella for the travel.

Pattis said the two men are longtime friends and he's seen no evidence of wrongdoing.

Connelly's attorney, Hugh Keefe, Prominent defense attorney Hugh Keefe is representing Connelly in the matter and previously told NBC Connecticut he has talked to federal authorities, but also says Connelly is not the target of a grand jury investigation.

He told the Associated Press that his client is not the target of any federal investigation.

"As we all know, prosecutors are required to routinely deal with the most unsavory people in society -- some of whom would accuse their own mothers of misconduct if they thought it'd help them," Keefe said in a statement.

Pattis said on his blog that federal agents have been investigating whether Minella got favorable treatment from Connelly.

"Federal agents are scouring through tax records, credit card receipts and every record they can use a grand jury subpoena to obtain to try to show some quid pro quo," Pattis wrote. "But they can look until the Republic collapses. There is nothing there."

Pattis called the investigation "a clear and present danger" to lawyers.

"Suggestions that Marty gets a break from Connelly or his office are ludicrous," Pattis wrote.

Federal officials have declined to comment.

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