HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) -- Nearly three years after finishing a prison sentence for corruption former Bridgeport State Senator Ernie Newton is back in the legal spotlight. Now he's charged with stealing thousands of dollars in public money to finance a failed comeback campaign.
Former State Senator Ernie Newton is back in court. Newton was arrested back on January fourth. He's accused of falsifying documents to obtain more than eighty thousand dollars to fund his campaign.
On Thursday morning, Newton went before a judge at Hartford Superior Court. He entered a plea of not guilty on all charges.
Newton did not want to talk to reporters as he left Superior Court in Hartford after entering a not gulity plea. He's charged with felony larceny, witness tampering and campaign finance crimes. His arrest came after an investigation by the State Elections Enforcement Commission and the Statewide Prosecution Bureau.
Prosecutors say Newton came up short in required private contributions needed to get funding from the state's Citizen Election Program. Newton is also accused of having five of his campaign workers sign cards saying they contributed to the campaign to make up for the shortage.
Prosecutors say Newton also told one of his campaign workers not to talk to the EEC after investigators contacted her.
This is not the first time Newton has been in trouble with the law. He served three years in prison after he admitted in 2005 to accepting a bribe and income tax fraud.
The larceny charge carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, tampering with a witness could land him up to 10 years and each campaign finance count carries a maximum sentence of five years. The case has been continued until January 31.
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