State Sen. Dennis Bradley and his campaign treasurer turned themselves in to U.S. Marshals Tuesday. Bradley and Jessica Martinez were arraigned on charges of wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud.
Bradley is accused of attempting to defraud the state of campaign funds during his 2018 race for the 23rd District, with the help of his treasurer Martinez, who is also a Bridgeport Board of Education member. According to the indictment, they planned to defraud the Connecticut State Election Enforcement Committee and the Citizens Election Fund by making misrepresentations concerning Bradley’s compliance with state election law and the Citizens’ Election Program.
The two are accused of lying to qualify for Citizens’ Election Program money and tried to obtain $179,850 in campaign funds. Bradley’s campaign received $84,140 in July of 2018. They then asked for an additional $95,210 in August, but that request was denied by the SEEC in October.
The indictment mentions a party at Dolphin’s Cove in Bridgeport that Bradley classified as one for his law firm but which also kicked off his campaign in 2018. Bradley secretly used personal funds above the campaign limit and didn’t truthfully disclose his campaign contributions.
Bradley secretly paid the hosting venue $5,600 with personal funds even though paying more than $2,000 disqualified him from participating in the Citizens’ Election Program. Additionally, according to prosecutors, campaign aides falsified donor cards to hide the appearance that the event was a fundraiser.
Both Bradley and Martinez pleaded not guilty on Tuesday.
After the arraignment, Senate President Pro Tempore Martin Looney removed Bradley from his legislative committee assignments. He will no longer serve as Senate vice chair of the Committee on Children or as a member of the Banking, General Law, Internship, and Judiciary committees. Looney also rescinded Bradley’s appointment as deputy majority leader.
“Based on the current available information regarding Senator Bradley, I have taken a first step to protect the integrity of the state Senate,” said Looney.
Bradley also works as an attorney at Bradley, Denkovich and Karayiannis Law Group. If he is found guilty, he could face up to 20 years in prison.