BRIDGEPORT, Conn. – In the latest in a string of corruption cases in Connecticut, a former state senator pleaded guilty Tuesday to felony charges of receiving a bribe, mail fraud and tax evasion.
Sen. Ernest Newton II (search) acknowledged in federal court that he accepted a $5,000 bribe in exchange for helping the director of a job training agency secure a $100,000 grant.
As part of a plea agreement, Newton, 49, also admitted filing false tax returns and diverting $13,000 in campaign contributions for personal use.
His plea deal does not specify a sentence. Newton faces a maximum of 35 years in prison, but prosecutors have said they will ask for less time because he has accepted responsibility.
Last month, Warren K. Godbolt (search), executive director of the nonprofit Progressive Training Associates in Bridgeport, pleaded guilty to paying the bribe.
Newton announced his resignation last week and submitted it Monday. Gov. M. Jodi Rell (search) has scheduled a special election for Nov. 14 to fill Newton's Senate seat.
Newton would not discuss the case with reporters as he left court after an earlier hearing Tuesday.
He was elected to the Senate in 2003 after serving in the House for 14 years.