Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
October 23, 2014

Connecticut: Internal Investigation Clears Chris Donovan

Updated, 4:26 p.m. | An internal investigation released today shows that Connecticut House Speaker Chris Donovan (D) “had no knowledge of illegal contributions to his campaign,” according to the Hartford Courant.

A quid pro quo scandal involving tobacco legislation and campaign donations has rocked the Donovan campaign for the past month. An FBI sting resulted in the arrest of Donovan’s finance director and the termination of two other staffers.

Donovan’s political opponents from both parties were highly critical of the report, conducted by former U.S. Attorney Stanley Twardy. Per the Courant, Twardy lacked subpoena power and attorneys prevented interviews with central figures in the investigation.

A Republican opponent, businessman Mark Greenberg called the report “incomplete” in a statement and continued to call on Donovan “to suspend his campaign.”

Democratic candidate Dan Roberti issued similar criticisms in his own press release, and also questioned the integrity of a self-funded internal investigation.

The primary is Aug. 14. Without recent polling, Donovan remains the Democratic frontrunner because labor and liberal groups have doubled down in their support for him.

This race is to replace Rep. Christopher Murphy (D), who is running for Senate. Roll Call rates this race as Likely Democratic.

Earlier this week, Murphy told the New Haven Register that he was “heartsick” over the matter.

Update: Former State Rep. Elizabeth Esty (D) also weighed in, sharing Roberti’s and Greenberg’s concerns. Many Connecticut political observers have previously noted that Esty has generally shied away from the controversy.

“The FBI affidavit that initiated this review contained serious allegations that have not been addressed,” she wrote in a statement.

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