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IRS, state file income tax liens against former utilities official James Sullivan

November 27, 2018

Norwich – The IRS has filed a federal income tax lien totaling 25,234.10 against James Sullivan, one of five officials from the Connecticut Municipal Electric Energy Cooperative indicted Nov. 8 on federal public corruption charges.

The IRS tax lien was filed Oct. 22 in the Norwich land records and is labeled for the tax period ending Dec. 31, 2016. The state Department of Revenue Services filed its lien on Oct. 31, also for the state tax year ending Dec. 31, 2016.

Amy Hosney, public information officer in the IRS criminal investigation office in Boston, said Tuesday she could not comment on the underlying cause for any IRS tax liens.

Sullivan and his attorney, Trent LaLima of the Hartford law office of Hubert J. Santos, could not be reached for comment. Sullivan served as CMEEC board chairman from December 2013 until October 2015. He was chairman of the Norwich utilities commission from 2008 to October 2015.

Sullivan was named in two separate federal indictments, the first charging him and four other CMEEC officials with one count each of conspiracy and three counts of theft from a program that received federal funds in connection with CMEEC’s hosting of lavish trips to the Kentucky Derby and to a West Virginia golf resort for dozens of top staff, board members, their families and invited guests over a four-year period from 2013 through 2016.

The other four charged were: CMEEC CEO Drew Rankin, CMEEC Chief Financial Officer Edward Pryor, Norwich Public Utilities General Manager John Bilda and former CMEEC board member Edward DeMuzzio of Groton.

In the second indictment, Sullivan and Rankin face the same charges in connection with Sullivan allegedly receiving reimbursement totaling 918.76, and several entries for travel expenses to the Kentucky Derby for Sullivan and his wife, Linda Sanchez, the Democratic congresswoman representing the 38th U.S. House District in California.

According to the list, in 2013, CMEEC paid 535.80 for a flight from John Wayne Airport in Orange County, Calif. to Louisville for Sanchez and 14,390.76 for Sullivan and his wife to attend the Kentucky Derby. In separate entries, CMEEC paid 277 for “baggage, taxis and meals” for the couple for the 2014 derby trip.

In December 2014, CMEEC also allegedly paid 19,180.12 for Sullivan and his son to attend the Kentucky Derby.

c.bessette@theday.com

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