Husband of Calif. Congresswoman Indicted on Theft Charges in Conn. - NBC Connecticut

Husband of Calif. Congresswoman Indicted on Theft Charges in Conn.

James Sullivan was one of five people indicted on theft and conspiracy charges

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    House Benghazi Committee member Rep. Linda Sanchez, D-Calif., on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Oct. 22, 2015.

    A California congresswoman whose husband has been indicted on criminal charges in Connecticut is citing an "unexpected family matter" in withdrawing as a candidate for chair of the Democratic Caucus.

    U.S. Rep. Linda Sanchez is married to James Sullivan, one of five people indicted on theft and conspiracy charges in connection with $800,000 worth of trips to the Kentucky Derby and other locations. The defendants are all linked to the Connecticut Municipal Electric Energy Corp. (CMEEC), a public company that has received more than $9 million from the U.S. Department of Energy.

    CMEEC's members include the City of Norwich, the City of Groton, the Borough of Jewett City, the town of Bozrah and parts of Norwalk.

    Sullivan, 52, worked as a City of Norwich representative and was the chairperson of the CMEEC Board of directors until October 2015.

    Others named in the indictment include Drew Rankin, 57, of Columbia, who is CEO of CMEEC, John Bilda, 54, of Norwich, who is the City of Norwich representative on the CMEEC Board of Directors and an employee of the City of Norwich, Edward DeMuzzio, 77, of Groton, a City of Groton representative and the secretary of the CMEEC Board of Directors, and Edward Pryor, 62, of Groton, the chief financial officer of CMEEC.

    Connecticut U.S. Attorney John Durham says the defendants used a company account as a "secret slush fund."

    The defendants pleaded not guilty to the charges Thursday in federal court in New Haven and were released on bail.

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