Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Business as usual in Connecticut?:

A Hartford Courant piece from the online edition:

First Selectman Of Westbrook Arrested
5:39 PM EST, February 7, 2006 The Hartford Courant

The newly elected first selectman of Westbrook was arrested today on attempted larceny by extortion and coercion charges in connection with his efforts to use his office to derail a lawsuit brought against him in a private business matter, the chief state's attorney 's office said.

John A. Raffa, 58, of Westbrook, is charged with one count each of criminal attempt to commit first-degree larceny by extortion and coercion.

According to Chief State's Attorney Christopher Morano, Raffa in his capacity as first selectman would not sign an agreement dealing with a development project in Westbrook unless a lawsuit brought against Raffa in an unrelated personal matter was withdrawn. The complaint against Raffa had been brought by an attorney representing the developer of the Westbrook project.

That attorney is also a plaintiff in the lawsuit against Raffa.Raffa was released on a $100,000 non-surety bond. He is schedule to be arraigned Feb. 14 in Superior Court in Middletown.

Raffa, a Republican, was elected first selectman of Westbrook Nov. 8, defeating Democratic incumbent Tony A. Palermo. Raffa is also a member of two limited liability companies: Raffa Realty and Development and Raffa Enterprises.

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