Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Violating Civil Rights OR child molestation?

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Man Fined In Giordano Case
Illegal Money In Senate Campaign
May 30, 2005 Hartford Courant

A federal judge on Friday fined a former West Hartford insurance executive $5,000 for helping his former company make illegal contributions to the unsuccessful U.S. Senate campaign of former Waterbury Mayor Philip A. Giordano, now a federal inmate.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Holly B. Fitzsimmons imposed the fine on Michael Watts, 51, former senior vice president at Arthur A. Watson & Co. Inc. of Wethersfield.

Two months ago, Watts admitted in court that he and three other Watson employees, with their spouses, each made $1,000 contributions to Giordano's 2000 campaign. The company reimbursed its employees the total amount of the contributions, disguising the reimbursements as commissions or salaries, federal prosecutors said.

Federal law prohibits a corporation from contributing to federal campaigns and from reimbursing others for making contributions on its behalf.

Arthur A. Watson & Co. also pleaded guilty and was convicted of making illegal campaign contributions. The company was fined $8,000 this month.

Federal authorities were investigating municipal corruption in Waterbury in 2001 when they overheard Giordano making plans to have sex with two pre-teen girls. They broke off the corruption probe and arrested Giordano, who later was sentenced to 37 years in prison for violating the girls' civil rights.

The corruption investigation resumed after Giordano's imprisonment and is continuing.

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