BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (AP) _ A state official said Tuesday that former Bridgeport Mayor Joseph Ganim should not get his law license back because he has not expressed remorse for his corruption, but Ganim’s attorney said there was overwhelming evidence to show he was fit to practice law again.
Patricia King, chief disciplinary counsel for the state, objected to Ganim’s request during arguments before a three-judge panel in Bridgeport Superior Court. She cited Ganim’s testimony earlier to a state committee of lawyers that recommended that Ganim have his law license restored.
“There was no expression of remorse from Mr. Ganim during his testimony and no explanation of the actual misconduct itself,” King said. “He acknowledged the conviction but he didn’t acknowledge the conduct.”
The judges did make an immediate ruling. Ganim declined to comment after the hearing.
Ganim lost his law license after being convicted in 2003 of 16 federal counts including bribery for accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars in expensive wine, custom clothes, cash and home improvements. He served seven years in prison.
Judge Julia Dewey, one of the three on the panel, said most of the letters written in support of Ganim did not focus on his conviction.
“Other than treason, what can be worse than perjury and bribery?” Dewey asked.
Ganim’s attorney, Harold Rosnick, urged the judges to consider Ganim’s entire life. He said the committee that concluded he was fit to return to practicing law was made up of highly regarded attorneys who considered all the evidence.
“The evidence was overwhelming that there has been and continues to be good in Joe Ganim,” Rosnick said, adding that Ganim is trustworthy.
The judges also pressed King on whether people who maintain their innocence could ever get their law license back.
The judges did not indicate when they would rule, but legal briefs will be filed this week and next. If the judges ruled that Ganim can have his law license back, it would likely not be effective until his probation ends next year.
Ganim has worked as a legal assistant at his family’s law firm in Bridgeport since being released from prison.
Ganim, who was first elected in 1991 as mayor of Connecticut’s largest city, was serving his fifth term in office when he was indicted in 2001.