While the six-member bipartisan committee gets ready to decide whether to expel, censure, reprimand or take no action against Republican state Senator Louis DeLuca of Woodbury, it has taken the unusual step of forwarding documents and testimony to the Chief State’s Attorney’s office for further investigation.
The committee agreed Thursday that it was clearly not within their purview to decide whether Sen. DeLuca or Waterbury Police Chief Neil O’Leary was telling the truth about the allegations of physical abuse. DeLuca claims he went to O’Leary three times to ask for his help because he thought his granddaughter was being physically abused by her husband. DeLuca has said when O’Leary refused to help him he turned to trash hauler James Galante, who he knew to be on the “fringes of organized crime.” O’Leary denies being asked by DeLuca to investigate the alleged physical abuse.
“Our investigation is not about whether his granddaughter was being abused,” Sen. Andrea Stillman said Thursday. “It’s what the senator did with that information.” She said it’s simply not the committee’s job to figure out who is telling the truth.
This Thursday the committee received a redacted Waterbury police report that was opened just days after DeLuca pled guilty to the misdemeanor charge of threatening. It was an investigation into an anonymous allegation of the abuse toward DeLuca’s granddaughter, but Waterbury police were unable to substantiate the claims ultimately ending the investigation. Here is the lengthy police investigation.
Will the committee have to consider whether DeLuca perjured himself when it drafts its recommendation to the full senate?
Committee co-chairs Senate Majority Leader Martin Looney of New Haven and Republican Senator Andrew Roraback of Goshen said everything the committee has discussed will be in the resolution, which will lay out the facts the committee will base its conclusion on. Roraback said it may be on the minds of individual senators as they reach their conclusions, but it’s hard to say how much weight each senator will give it.
After Thursday’s meeting it was clear five key facts will form the foundation for its conclusion. The first is Senator DeLuca’s guilty plea to a misdemeanor charge of threatening. The second is the fact that he lied to the FBI the first time he was asked why he met with Galante. The third is his failure to report the cash bribe that was offered to him by the undercover FBI agent, posing as Galante’s associate. The fourth is whether he used his office in furthering the business interests of Mr. Galante. The fifth is his failure to hand over audio tapes from his meeting with the undercover FBI agent, so the committee can hear for firsthand what he may have offered in exchange for Galante’s help.