Ex-State Senator to Pay $800,000 to Feds

After years of pressure from Washington, former State Senator Bill DiBella has agreed to pay nearly $800,000 to settle longstanding charges connected to the state pension fund scandal in the late 1990's.

DiBella allegedly took a sham fee on a pension fund deal that he arranged more than a decade ago with convicted former state Treasurer Paul Silvester.

DiBella has agreed to pay the Securities and Exchange Commission $796,627.45 by March 12.  If he fails to do so, DiBella faces contempt sanctions that include fines and possible jail time.

Despite the ongoing controversy surrounding his involvement in the pension fund mess, DiBella was re-elected last month to the chairmanship of the Metropolitan District Commission, the regional water and sewer authority, which is in midst of a $2 billion sewer system upgrade in Hartford and several surrounding towns.

The SEC case against DiBella involved  "finder's fees" arranged by Silvester and paid by money managers trying to obtain contracts to invest the billions of dollars in the state employee pension fund. The feds called the fees political payments.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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