State Supreme Court sides with Newton
BRIDGEPORT — Former state-Senator Ernie Newton has been on a winning streak, returning to the Bridgeport City Council, getting a job helping-ex offenders like himself.
But he has had a legal cloud hanging over his head. Specifically a 2015 six-month suspended prison sentence for election fraud related to his failed 2012 General Assembly bid.
On Friday the state Supreme Court sided with Newton’s appeal of that conviction and sent the case back for a new trial.
“They overtuned the charges,” Newton said. “I’m just grateful, man. I’ve been through a lot. Almost five years I’ve been going through this.”
But it is not over quite yet. According to Newton’s attorney, Public Defender Mark Rademacher, his client can now be retried by the state on those three convictions plus other charges that had resulted ina hung jury.
“It’s like you start from square one,” Rademacher said. “Like you’ve just been arrested, go into court and try to resolve the case.”
Rademacher was not sure, however, if the state still wanted to prosecute Newton.
“This case is so old,” he said. “Are they going to go back, present the case and hope for a better result? That sounds foolish and a waste of time and money. They had one good shot and didn’t convict him of all those felonies.”
Newton’s political career began on the City Council in the 1980s. He then moved on to the legislature - both the House of Representatives, then the Senate.
In 2005 Newton was convicted of corruption. He tried unsuccessful legislative comebacks in 2012 and 2014 before getting re-elected last year to the council.