NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) – A former attorney convicted as part of a racketeering scheme will not be readmitted to the Connecticut Bar, a state court ruled this week.

The Connecticut Judicial Branch Office of Disciplinary Counsel published its ruling Tuesday in the Connecticut Law Journal agreeing that Charles Spadoni should not be reinstated.

Spadoni, who was admitted to the Connecticut Bar in 1977, was hired two decades later as the general counsel for the Triumph Capital Group, a private equity firm that managed some Connecticut pension funds. Some investments, including contributions made to state Republican party and former treasurer Paul Silvester’s campaign staffers, triggered a federal investigation, which led to indictments in early 2001 for violating the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act. Spadoni was convicted in 2003 and sentenced to 36 months in jail and a $50,000 fine.

Silvester pleaded guilty to charges in 1999 and was sentenced to 51 months in prison. 

Spadoni was later given a new trial on the racketeering, racketeering conspiracy, bribery and wire fraud charges after successfully arguing that the government “unconstitutionally suppressed” evidence, according to court documents, but did not get a new trial for the obstruction of justice charge because the evidence was “overwhelming.” The court notes that there was “suspicious timing” as to when he used the Destroy-It! software to delete files from his laptop.

Spadoni has been applying to become reinstated since 2017. During a 2019 hearing, he argued that any conduct that didn’t lead to his conviction was “off limits,” and reiterated that he believes he is innocent on all charges, according to documents. 

The Standing Committee on Recommendations for Admission to the Bar for New Haven County issued a report in February 2021 stating he should not be readmitted. He received a hearing before the Connecticut Superior Court in June 2021.

During the 2019 evidentiary hearing,  “the defendant refused to answer direct questions regarding his conduct during and surrounding the events that resulted in the convictions that were reversed,” the ruling reads. “The defendant also testified that he was innocent of any wrongdoing and that he had not committed the crime of obstruction of justice, focusing his testimony on multiple exhibits that he argued demonstrated his innocence.”

The committee issued a report recommending for the application to be denied “on the ground that he lacked the requisite good moral character to practice law.”

“In reaching its decision, the committee found, inter alia, that the defendant’s refusal to answer questions regarding the reversed convictions demonstrated a lack of honesty and candor, that his reinstatement could be detrimental to the integrity and standing of the bar and the administration of justice because he refused to accept responsibility for the obstruction of justice conviction, which strikes at the heart of the public trust in the legal profession, and that his failure to accept responsibility for his wrongdoing made rehabilitation impossible,” the ruling reads.

Spadoni, who represented himself in his appeal, claimed the committee “exceeded the scope of its investigative authority” when it asked about his misconduct, and that it “improperly” found that he failed to accept his conviction of obstruction of justice “with sincerity and honesty,” according to the ruling.

The state court responded by arguing that finding if someone has “good moral character” is an “expansive inquiry” that encompassess all conduct.

Court documents state that Spadoni claimed he didn’t have to accept his conviction “with sincerity and honesty” because “he proved to the committee that he plausibly reconciled his claim of evidence.” The state disagreed, writing that “This argument only further exhibits the defendant’s confusion with the reinstatement process.”

“Although this failure to acknowledge or express remorse for misconduct is not the sole factor determinative of the defendant’s application for reinstatement, it was appropriate for the committee to consider, particularly in light of its concerns about the defendant’s candor and demeanor before the committee,” the ruling reads, noting that Spadoni hasn’t shown that he’s been rehabilitated.

“Particularly, the committee expressed significant concerns that more than ten years had passed since the defendant’s suspension, but he continues to insist that he did not commit any wrongdoing,” the decision reads. “This led the committee to state that rehabilitation would be impossible so long as the defendant fails to acknowledge that he committed a crime.”