Saturday, June 30, 2007

Highest-Ranking GOP State Senator in Connecticut Steps Down Amid Accusations of Mafia Ties

WTNH Television

DeLuca steps down as Senate Republican leader

Posted June 13, 2007

(Hartford-photo take in January)_ State Senator Louis C. DeLuca announced today that he has resigned his position as Senate Minority Leader.

"After careful consideration, and out of respect for this institution and for my caucus, I have decided to step down from my leadership position," said DeLuca, (R) Woodbury.

Senate Minority Leader Pro Tempore John McKinney (R-Fairfield) will assume leadership responsibilities until the Senate Republican Caucus meets to elect a new leader.

DeLuca said that by stepping down today he is making sure that his "personal issue does not overshadow all of the good work we've done and will do as a caucus."

DeLuca, a 9-term lawmaker and the highest ranking GOP member, was arrested on a conspiracy to threaten charge. He was accused of arranging a threat for a man he believed was abusing his granddaughter.

The arrest started with an investigation into racketeering activities and mob ties in the trash-hauling industry. A wire tap revealed that DeLuca had met with a convicted felon with known Mafia ties to intervene in his granddaughter's situation.

DeLuca said he approached the man after Waterbury Police Chief Neil O'Leary said he could do nothing about the alleged domestic abuse without a formal complaint by DeLuca's granddaughter.

O'Leary said that DeLuca never mentioned the abuse.