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Griebel’s ex-campaign manager plans not guilty plea to larceny charge

October 1, 2018

NORWALK — Independent gubernatorial candidate Oz Griebel’s former campaign manager had his case transferred to a different court on Monday without responding to a charge that he stole $500,000 from a Norwalk marketing firm where he worked.

But Kyle Lyddy plans to plead not guilty to first-degree larceny when he appears in court later this month, his attorney said.

Lyddy, 31, who was the chairman of Sandy Hook Permanent Memorial Commission until he resigned in the spring, said nothing on Monday during a brief appearance in Norwalk Superior Court.

His attorney, William Dow III, asked the judge to transfer the case to Stamford Superior Court on Oct. 18.

It was the first time Lyddy appeared in court since being arrested on Sept. 10.

His attorney refused to answer questions outside court.

“We are going to try this case in the courthouse — not in the newspapers,” Dow said. “He intends to enter a not guilty plea.”

Lyddy appeared calm and alert during the brief appearance, dressed in a blue suit and tie.

The appearance follows Lyddy’s abrupt resignation from the Griebel campaign on Sept. 10. Lyddy’s arrest surprised supporters who knew Lyddy to be a civic-minded volunteer, who helped steer Newtown to recovery after the 2012 Sandy Hook massacre.

Lyddy is accused of fabricating expenses and inflating invoices at Match Marketing Group to pay for personal ventures, private expenses, and charitable causes, including costs related to the Sandy Hook memorial and his own family’s annual benefit, Light Up the Point fundraiser in Fairfield.

There is no evidence that Lyddy misappropriated money raised for charity, according to police, Newtown officials, and a member of his own family.

Nor is there evidence that Lyddy misused money raised by Griebel, according to Monte Frank, Griebel’s running mate for lieutenant governor and a friend of Lyddy’s from Sandy Hook.

The trouble began for Lyddy after he left the marketing company in January, and the company uncovered at least $250,000 of misappropriated money, according to police records.

Lyddy offered to repay the company a total of $190,000 — mostly through monthly installments, according to an arrest warrant. But when the company discovered twice as much money as it thought was missing, it called police.

Lyddy remains free on $100,000 bail.

rryser@newstimes.com 203-731-3342

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