Prosecutors open Newton trial by making case on use of money

Ernie Newton, left (File)

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — On the first day of the trial of former state Sen. Ernie Newton II on charges of campaign finance fraud, prosecutors tried to show how the ex-lawmaker came up $500 short of the $15,000 threshold for public financing.

The shortfall is key to the larceny, fraud and witness tampering charges facing Newton.

The Connecticut Post reports that prosecutors presented their case Tuesday in Hartford Superior Court. They say Newton falsified five $100 contributions to bring the 2012 campaign’s fundraising total over the threshold and qualify for $80,000 in public money.

Newton was forced to resign his Senate seat in 2005 and served five years in federal prison for bribery in a separate case.

He denies allegations he falsely sought public financing and that the matter should be before the state Elections Enforcement Commission.

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Information from: Connecticut Post, http://www.connpost.com

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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