HAMDEN, Conn. (AP) _ Connecticut U.S. Attorney Deirdre M. Daly has informed former House Speaker Christopher Donovan that the criminal investigation surrounding his failed 2012 congressional campaign has been closed and her office will not seek to charge the Meriden Democrat with any crime.
In a letter dated Jan. 31 to Donovan’s attorney, Daly said her office decided to close its investigation “based on information and evidence currently available to the Government.” Donovan released a copy of the letter to members of the media on Monday.
Eight people were ultimately convicted in a scandal involving nearly $28,0 in illegal contributions to Donovan’s campaign for the 5th Congressional District seat.
Prosecutors said the scheme involved roll-your-own tobacco shop owners who wanted Donovan to kill state legislation that taxed their industry. The shop owners gave cash to other people, who then wrote checks to Donovan’s congressional campaign to hide the origin of the money, an illegal practice known as straw donations.
The bill died in the 2012 legislative session, never making it to the House of Representatives, but was approved during a subsequent special session.
Both Donovan’s congressional campaign manager and finance director were among those convicted.
Throughout the scandal, Donovan consistently said he had no knowledge of the conspiracy, but the matter still hampered his campaign. A favorite of organized labor and considered a front-runner for the Democratic Party’s endorsement, Donovan ultimately lost the Democratic primary to Rep. Elizabeth Esty, who won the seat in the general election.
In a written statement, Donovan said he looks forward to “continuing my efforts to advocate for a fair and just society.” A spokeswoman said that would be his only comment on the matter.
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