NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — The fallout continues after a federal indictment that rocked the state capitol. State Senator Dennis Bradley was arrested earlier this week. Wednesday, his fellow Democrats are weighing in.
It all started at The Dolphin Cove Marina and Restaurant. Bridgeport City Councilwoman Maria Perreira says she filed a complaint after a party there.
Councilwoman Pereira told us, “He was claiming it wasn’t a campaign event but I went to his election Facebook page and there it was listed as a campaign event. So I screenshot it.”
She filed a complaint with the State Elections Enforcement Commission against then-state Senate candidate Dennis Bradley.
Three years later, that party landing now Senator Bradley in federal court. Prosecutors say Bradley paid for the bash out of his own pocket. Then tried to cover up that it was a campaign event so he could apply for state grant money for which he otherwise wouldn’t have been eligible.
“You get those taxpayer funds strictly by following very strict guidelines,” the councilwoman explained.
In the end, Bradley’s camp netted $84,000 from the Citizen’s Election Program. Another application for $95,000 was denied.
Bradley’s Campaign Treasurer Jessica Martinez was also indicted–prosecutors allege she was part of the cover-up.
Looking back to during the campaign, another unnamed volunteer probably regrets sending this text–after the campaign began filing its financials with the state: “Don’t worry Dennis if you go to jail you are a lot cuter…u will be ok and I’ll [sic] make sure ur commissary always has enough so you can make toilet wine and mofongo.”
House Speaker Matt Ritter said Wednesday regarding the arrest, “The audits are very thorough, probably frustratingly so, but it gets down to the penny.”
Democratic House leadership fielded questions about Bradley’s indictment Wednesday–and whether the state’s campaign finance rules are working.
“It was a sad day for the state of CT and certainly the city of Bridgeport,” added State Rep. Jason Rojas.
Bradley faces 20 years on each of six counts, which include wire fraud and conspiracy. The party that kicked off the investigation cost $5,000.
Senator Bradley will next be in court in August, that’s when jury selection is set to start on his federal trial.