Connecticut state House Speaker Chris Donovan's finance director, Robert Braddock Jr., was arrested Wednesday night on federal charges of conspiring to launder campaign contributions, according to a report in the Hartford Courant.
Donovan is running for the Democratic nomination in Connecticut's 5th Congressional District, where Democratic Rep. Chris Murphy is running for Senate. The Courant has details of the case against Braddock:
The complaint alleges that Braddock conspired with others to accept conduit campaign contributions, which are contributions made by one person in the name of another person. It is a violation of federal campaign finance law for any person to knowingly accept a contribution made by one person in the name of another person.
The purpose of the conduit contributions alleged in the complaint was to conceal the fact that the individuals who were actually financing the payments had an interest in legislation that was introduced in the Connecticut General Assembly during the 2012 legislative session, over which Donovan wields substantial control as speaker.
The legislation introduced would have deemed "Roll-Your-Own" smoke shop owners to be tobacco manufacturers under Connecticut law, a designation that would have subjected these shop owners to a substantial licensing fee and tax increase. The Connecticut General Assembly's Joint Committee on Finance, Revenue and Bonding voted in favor of the bill, Senate Bill 357, on April 3, 2012. The criminal complaint alleges that the potential enactment of that bill prompted Braddock and and his co-conspirators, who are not identified, to arrange a payment of $10,000 to the campaign, which consisted of four $2,500 checks in the names of conduit contributors.
Donovan recently won the Democratic endorsement at the district party's convention, but he still faces two opponents -- ex-state Rep. Elizabeth Esty and businessman Dan Roberti -- in an August 14 primary. Representatives from both campaigns called for "thorough" investigation of the charges.