Court overturns former senator’s campaign fraud convictions

Hartford

The Connecticut Supreme Court has overturned the campaign fraud convictions of former state Sen. Ernest Newton II and ordered a new trial.

Justices released a 5-0 decision Friday saying the trial court judge improperly instructed the jury that it was required to find that Newton had general intent, instead of specific intent, to violate campaign finance laws.

Newton, now a Bridgeport city councilor, was sentenced to six months in prison in 2015, but was allowed to remain free during his appeal. The Democrat denies allegations he submitted false documentation to obtain more than $80,000 in state public campaign funds for his failed 2012 state Senate campaign.

Newton previously served prison time for taking a bribe in a case that prompted him to give up the Senate seat in 2005.

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