HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — A not guilty plea has been entered for former Bridgeport state Sen. Ernest Newton II, who is facing charges he fraudulently obtained thousands of dollars in public funds to finance a failed comeback campaign for his old seat last year.
Newton appeared in Hartford Superior Court on Thursday to face charges of felony larceny, witness tampering and campaign finance crimes. Prosecutors say he filed false documentation to obtain more than $80,000 from the publicly funded Citizens Election Program.
A superior court judge entered a not guilty plea on Newton’s behalf because his lawyer was busy with a murder case, the Connecticut Post reported.
Newton has denied the charges.
His return to politics last year came three years after he finished a prison sentence for using campaign money for personal spending.