HARTFORD -- A panel of state senators investigating a colleague convicted of a misdemeanor threat charge hope that federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies provide them with more details of the crime.
At its first meeting yesterday, the Bipartisan Committee of Review agreed to send letters to the agencies for additional documents and transcripts pertaining to the case of Senator Louis DeLuca, a Republican.
The committee -- which must decide whether to recommend a reprimand, censure, expulsion, or take no action against the veteran Woodbury senator -- may face some difficulties obtaining information. DeLuca pleaded guilty in June to asking a trash hauler -- James Galante, who has reputed ties to the mob -- to threaten his granddaughter's husband because he believed the man was abusive to her.
"We can't know unless we ask," said Senator Andrew Roraback, a Goshen Republican and cochairman of the committee, referring to the additional documents.
Galante, a target of a federal probe into the mob's influence on the trash industry, is awaiting trial on 93 counts, including racketeering, racketeering conspiracy, extortion, mail and wire fraud, and witness tampering.
Senators voted 33 to 0 last week to create the committee. It was the first time in Senate history that members have conducted such a review of a colleague. The panel has 45 days to make a recommendation. It can also seek two 15-day extensions.
DeLuca, 74, has apologized for his actions. He has also said he went to the Waterbury police for help, but received none, an assertion the police chief has denied.
DeLuca, who first joined the Senate in 1991, stepped down as the minority leader but has said he has no plans to resign from his Senate seat. He received a six-month suspended sentence and was ordered to pay a $2,000 fine and donate $1,500 to charity.
Some senators said yesterday they want to know more about DeLuca's relationship with Galante and the senator's comments to an undercover officer about being willing to help the trash hauler.
Senator Donald DeFronzo, Democrat of New Britain, has asked for a list of DeLuca's legislative appointments to various boards and commissions dating back to the beginning of his relationship with Galante.
The senators also plan to comb through the arrest warrant application for DeLuca, news reports, video of news conferences where DeLuca has made comments, transcripts of DeLuca's June 4 court appearance, and transcripts of the sentencing hearing for Richard Caccavale, who recently pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy. He was the person Galante asked to "pay a visit" to DeLuca's grandson-in-law. The threat was never carried out.