BRIDGEWATER, Conn. (AP) — The fallout over an FBI raid in a rural western Connecticut town led by the same farmer for nearly 30 years is revealing deeply rooted bitterness beneath the well-landscaped surface.

The farmer, First Selectman William Stuart, accuses his enemies in Bridgewater of spreading falsehoods to investigators out of personal grudges.

Critics accuse him of running the town of 1,800 people like an autocrat and using his control of vast parcels of land for his personal benefit. They cite fields used by his fox-hunting club.

The FBI raided Town Hall on July 11 but won’t comment.

Stuart tells The Associated Press he assumes he’s a target of an investigation but denies any wrongdoing. He says the town is in the best financial shape of any in the state.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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