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Thursday, February 02, 2006

Cuff 'em and take Newton away

See ya later Moses! Can't say that it's been a pleasure knowing you but I'm sure you'll make a great companion to someone in jail.

From the Hartford Courant
Former state Sen. Ernest Newton, once one of Connecticut's top minority leaders, was sentenced Thursday to five years in prison and three years probation for accepting a $5,000 bribe and other charges.

Before U.S. District Judge Alan Nevas sentenced Newton, the Bridgeport Democrat apologized to his family and community.

Newton, known for his flamboyant suits and outspoken style, pleaded guilty in September to bribery, tax evasion and mail fraud. He resigned his Senate seat a day before his plea.

Supporters packed a courtroom in U.S. District Court in Bridgeport for the sentencing hearing, to which Newton wore a conservative brown suit.

"I apologize to this court, to the federal government, to my family, to my community and to members of the legislature," Newton said. "Not only have I let you down but I've let myself down."

Nevas asked Newton if he stood by past statements that prosecutors targeted him because of his race. Newton is black.

"This is not about black and white," Newton replied. "It's about wrong and right, and I was wrong."

Newton's attorney, Salvatore DePiano, asked Nevas to sentence Newton to community service and home confinement. Federal prosecutors urged a longer sentence.

"We're talking about a long, pervasive, extensive pattern of corrupt conduct," said prosecutor James Finnerty. "He sold his office. It was Newton Inc., open for business 24-7."
Oh, how sweet. When Newton's ass is on the line (no pun intended) he finally says that he's sorry. Well sorry Ernest, I'm not buying it.

This individual had all the time in the world to fess up to his crimes so don't feel sorry for him. Not only did he not express regret during the last year, he played the race card with his "Moses of my people" speech which was not only outrageous, but disgraceful and offensive to many people of color (myself included). Don't feel sorry for him because he didn't give a damn about you and the people he represented when he was raking in the cash and allegedly chit-chatting with the mob.

If you need to see how out of touch this man is, read his quote about the FBI who caught Newton on a wiretap trying to convince friend Warren Godbolt to lie in his testimony about their relationship.

In seeking a lighter sentence, Newton cited 19 letters from political colleagues, friends and relatives attesting to Newton's good character, his struggle against drug addiction and his work on behalf of his constituents.

Newton also has rejected accusations that an FBI wiretap recorded him trying to obstruct justice.

Warren Godbolt pleaded guilty to paying Newton the $5,000 bribe in exchange for help from Newton to obtain a $100,000 grant to a job training facility in Bridgeport Godbolt ran. Godbolt is scheduled to be sentenced Friday.

Nevas said Thursday that Newton clearly obstructed justice by instructing Godbolt to lie to the FBI.

Good riddance.