Rep. James O'Rourke has been suspended from his position in the House Democratic Caucus as deputy speaker as prosecutors review an arrest warrant application for possible criminal misdemeanor charges against him.
Police want to charge Rep. James O'Rourke with criminally negligent homicide in connection with the death of Carol Sinisgalli, 41, the newspaper is reporting.
“It was with a great deal of sadness that I learned that prosecutors are reviewing an arrest warrant application for possible criminal misdemeanor charges against Representative O’Rourke," Speaker Christopher Donovan said in a release issued Friday.
O'Rourke, 45, who represents the 32nd District, saw Sinisgalli alive the night before her body was found.
He told police Sinisgalli jumped into his car at O'Leary's Digger McDuff's Tavern in Cromwell late on the night of Jan. 21.
Sinisgalli had assaulted a man in a wheelchair at the bar, the Courant previously reported. She left her coat, shoes and purse at the bar. After driving for awhile Sinisgalli jumped out and ran off, O'Rourke told police.
Overnight, the temperatures plummeted. The next morning, a cross-country skier found her body the next day. The medical examiner ruled Sinisgalli’s death as hypothermia.
"The investigation has been concluded, and a copy of the entire case file has been sent to State's Attorney Scott Murphy for his review," Rocky Hill police Lt. John Herbst told the Courant.
"We do not yet know if prosecutors or a judge will sign the warrant,” Speaker Christopher Donovan said in a release issued Friday. “Representative O'Rourke needs to be able to devote his attention to these personal and legal matters. While he does so, he will not be able to adequately carry out the additional responsibilities of deputy speaker during an especially challenging time in the legislature.”
A prosecutor and a judge must sign the warrant before an arrest may be made, the newspaper reports. Criminally negligent homicide is a misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail and/or a fine of up to $2,000.
O'Rourke's attorney, Jake Donovan, told the Courant he had no comment Thursday evening. The paper could not reach O'Rourke.