A Connecticut City Council member and landlord has been indicted by a federal grand jury on multiple election fraud charges, including allegedly forging the signatures of his tenants on absentee ballots so it would appear they had voted for him.
Michael DeFilippo, 35, of Bridgeport pleaded not guilty Wednesday before a federal magistrate in New Haven. He was later released on a $250,000 bond. The charges stem from his run for the Bridgeport City Council in 2017 and 2018.
The Associated Press left a message seeking comment with the Democrat who represents the city’s 133rd District. Bridgeport is the most populous city in Connecticut.
According to prosecutors, DeFilippo owns several rental properties in Bridgeport that he leases to students at Sacred Heart University. They allege “DeFilippo and others conspired to interfere with and obstruct Bridgeport citizens’ right to vote by falsifying his tenants’ voter registration applications and absentee ballot applications, then stealing tenants’ absentee ballots and forging their signatures in order to fraudulently vote for DeFilippo,” according to a news release.
DeFilippo pleaded not guilty to one count of conspiracy against rights, four counts of identity theft, and 11 counts of fraudulent registration. The conspiracy charge carries a maximum prison sentence of 10 years.