Senate leaders from both parties announced Wednesday that they will form a six-member bipartisan committee to investigate Republican Sen. Louis DeLuca’s actions in connection with threatening charges.
DeLuca attempted to hire an alleged mobster to beat up an individual he thought was abusing his granddaughter. He plead guilty to the charges in June. Click here to read about the details in the arrest affidavit.
Three members of the six-member committee will be appointed by Senate President Donald Williams, D-Brooklyn, and three-members will be appointed by Senate Minority Leader John McKinney, R-Southport.
Williams said the committee will investigate and may take, “No action, reprimand, censure, or expel,” DeLuca.
The Senate will then be required to vote on whatever recommendation the committee makes.
McKinney said in a press release Wednesday that “The Connecticut General Assembly has a poor record of dealing with the misconduct of its own members, in part, because it never established an effective institutional process to deal with ethics inquiries.”
Williams said aside from the impeachment inquiry of former Gov. John G. Rowland, there is no established process for this type of investigation. He said both parties realize “how solemn and important this process is.”
He said it’s a process the legislature is going to have to look back and rely on in the future.
Sen. McKinney said, “Senator Williams and I are taking great care to create an open, fair and bipartisan precedent, not just for this one instance of misconduct, but for all such instances from here forward. At the end of the day, this General Assembly must take steps to restore public confidence and to ensure its members are held to the highest of ethical standards.”
It is expected that committee members will be named within the next two weeks, with meetings held through mid-October and a committee recommendation to the full Senate in November. Williams said the committee will have 45 days to make its recommendation to the Senate.
The Connecticut Citizens Advocacy Group applauded the decision to move forward with an investigation.
“While it would be inappropriate for us or anyone else to prejudge Senator Deluca, the disclosures of events surrounding Senator Deluca are quite unsettling and we are optimistic that the bi-partisan committee will make appropriate recommendations and that the Senate will act on them,” Phil Sherwood, CCAG’s legislative director, said in a press release.
Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz used today’s announcement to again call for DeLuca’s resignation. “It’s unfortunate that Sen. DeLuca is making a bad situation worse by not resigning now,” Bysiewicz said in a press release. “His actions will hit taxpayers in the wallet and further erode public trust in government officials, just as the state is preparing for municipal elections. DeLuca’s actions only increase the distrust and disgust many people have for their government and that results in, among other things, low voter turnout.”