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Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Tomasso making a plea deal.

Could the Rowland corruption case be coming to a conclusion?

From the Hartford Courant

Peter N. Ellef, one-time top aide to Gov. John G. Rowland, and William A. Tomasso, an influential construction contractor, are expected to plead guilty as early as today to federal charges that they corruptly profited by steering millions of dollars in state contracts, several lawyers and other officials close to the plea bargain talks said.

Guilty pleas could signal an end to a four-year, wide-ranging corruption investigation targeting the highest levels of state government and resulting in a prison sentence for Rowland.

Under the terms of the plea agreement, which sources said was still being finalized Monday night, federal prosecutors will recommend that Ellef and Tomasso be imprisoned, perhaps for as much as three years. However, their lawyers would be allowed to argue for shorter sentences before Senior U.S. District Judge Peter C. Dorsey in New Haven.

Federal corruption charges against Ellef's son, Peter N. Ellef II, would be dropped under the terms of the tentative agreement, according to the sources, all of whom discussed the matter on the condition that they not be identified. One of the sources said the prosecution offer to drop the charges against the younger Ellef was a factor in persuading his father to forgo a trial and plead guilty.

Finally, the plea agreement would settle a civil lawsuit against the Ellefs, Tomasso, related businesses and other former high-ranking state officials brought by Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal in September 2004. Blumenthal said the suit is an attempt to recover millions of dollars that taxpayers lost as the result of corrupt Rowland administration contract awards.

Terms of the settlement of the suit and other financial penalties that could be imposed against the defendants and their companies were not available Monday night.

The younger Ellef confirmed late Monday that the charges against him could be dropped when the corruption case is closed, as early as today. He said he plans to be in court to watch his father plead guilty.
"Spare me son, please!" Whaa Whaa! How much taxpayers dollars was spent on this case? If the kid doesn't get locked up, he should be forced to sell everything but his clothes.

As you can tell, I have no sympathy here.