Friday, November 9, 2007

DeLuca panel seeks FBI tapes

A Connecticut Senate subcommittee looking into allegations of impropriety against State Senator Louis DeLuca voted this week to seek subpoena power to obtain FBI tapes now in DeLuca's possession, according to a story by Christopher Keating of the Hartford Courant.

The subcommittee decided that DeLuca (right) "brought dishonor on his office and the institution of the state Senate" but refused to make a recommendation to the full Senate until it could listen to the full tapes of DeLuca's Sept 5 and Sept 7, 2006, conversations with an FBI agent posing as an associate of Danbury-area trash hauler James Galante. Excerpts from the tapes were transcribed into an arrest warrant affidavit. The U.S. Attorneys office gave copies of the full tapes to DeLuca's attorney. The state senator pleaded guilty in June to a misdemeanor charge of conspiring with Galante to threaten DeLuca's granddaughter's husband. (See related story.)

One of the excerpts suggests that DeLuca would be willing to do favors in the legislature for Galante. DeLuca's attorney has pointed out that other statements on the tapes portray DeLuca in a more favorable light. The tapes reportedly show that DeLuca immediately turned down an offered bribe from the undercover agent. However, DeLuca stated last month that he would not turn over copies of the tapes.

"The recordings are not publicly available information and will not be disclosed," he said.

Galante has been indicted in connection with a property rights racket in the western Connecticut waste hauling industry. Federal prosecutors say he supervised a non-competitive affiliation on hauling companies that sent regular payments to a New York Mafia family. Galante says he is innocent of the charges.

The six-member subcommittee investigating DeLuca can recommend expulsion, censure, reprimand or no action.

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Editor/publisher of crime history journal, Informer. Publisher of American Mafia history website Moderator of Mafia-related Google+ community and Yahoo discussion group. Author of Wrongly Executed? Coauthor of Deep Water: Joseph P. Macheca and the Birth of the American Mafia and DiCarlo: Buffalo's First Family of Crime. Contributor of American Mafia history to Australian-published Mafia: The Necessary Reference to Organized Crime. Writer/co-writer of crime history articles for Informer, On the Spot Journal, Cigar City Magazine, Tampa Mafia Magazine.