Updated at 10:08 p.m. with information and link to a second CTMirror.com story.
NORWALK, Conn. – Norwalk resident and state House Minority Leader Lawrence F. Cafero Jr. was among a group of state legislators taped by the FBI in its effort to secretly gather audio and video evidence of political corruption, according to a report by the CT Mirror.
The government says an FBI cooperator, who has pleaded guilty, led a group of smoke-shop operators in a conspiracy to bribe then-House Speaker Christopher G. Donovan (D-Meriden), Cafero and others in 2012 to ensure that their business would stay free of Connecticut’s steep taxes on tobacco, the story said.
Neither Cafero nor Donovan has been charged or accused by the government of being aware of the effort to bribe them.
The recording of Cafero and so-called political fixer Harry Raymond Soucy (shown above) was shown Thursday in U.S. District on the fourth day of the trial of Robert Braddock Jr., who was Donovan’s chief fundraiser in the 2012 congressional campaign.
In another story at CTMirror.com, Soucy also described a meeting with Cafero about the tobacco tax.
“According to Soucy, it ended with Soucy placing an envelope with $5,000 cash in Cafero’s office refrigerator and telling Cafero there was something for him” the Mirror story says.
“In Soucy’s telling, Cafero refused to accept the cash, but instructed an aide, John Healey, who then oversaw the House Republican campaign committee, to immediately take Soucy across the street to the Officers Club and instruct him how to convert the cash into five $1,000 checks made out to Cafero’s leadership political action committees.”
The story quotes Cafero calling the story “a patent lie. At no point did anyone, including Mr. Soucy, leave any amount of money in my refrigerator. That’s out of a movie.”