Former U.S. Attorney,
District of Columbia:
"This a a tough area for commentary. The law has been changing in the theft of honest services area.
"From an analysis of the law standpoint, it is a very tricky and emerging area. But, no one would argue with your bottom line [Investigators and prosecutors have become more creative in building corruption cases]."
Former U.S. Attorney,
"The state doesn't have the tools or the laws that are at the disposal of the federal government. This shows the need for some legislative action.
"In each case, the prosecutor has to ask, 'Is the applicable charge worth pursuing.' "
Also Weighs In
Hartford Area Lawyer:
"The state has a harder job than the feds because they can't haul people before a grand jury. It's not as easy, regular or convenient for the state to get a one-man grand jury [with subpoena power].
"To prove bribery, they have to show a direct connection between the official act and the gift."
Bribery is found in the Connecticut state penal code at 53a-147.
Sec. 53a-147. Bribery: Class C felony. (a) A person is guilty of bribery if he promises, offers, confers or agrees to confer upon a public servant or a person selected to be a public servant, any benefit as consideration for the recipient's decision, opinion, recommendation or vote as a public servant or a person selected to be a public servant.
(b) Bribery is a class C felony.
(1969, P.A. 828, S. 149; P.A. 80-479, S. 2; P.A. 03-259, S. 46.)
History: P.A. 80-479 included bribery of persons selected to be public servants in provisions and bribery consisting of promises of benefits for recipient's decision, opinion, recommendation of vote, deleting reference to "other exercise of discretion"; P.A. 03-259 amended Subsec. (b) to change bribery from a class D felony to a class C felony.
Offense of offering gratuity requires element of proof, specific intent, which is not needed to prove greater offense of bribery. 172 C. 458. It is no defense for crime of bribery that police officer had no authority to take action desired by bribe given. Id. Covers crime of bribery in broad terms and is not limited to administration of justice and attempts to influence legislation. Id. Sec. 29-9 is not lesser included offense to this charge, and acceptance of guilty plea to said section was nullity. Id., 608.
Cited. 1 CA 524. Cited. 5 CA 125. Cited. 9 CA 15. Cited. 14 CA 322. Cited. 21 CA 386.
Sec. 53a-148. Bribe receiving: Class C felony. (a) A public servant or a person selected to be a public servant is guilty of bribe receiving if he solicits, accepts or agrees to accept from another person any benefit for, because of, or as consideration for his decision, opinion, recommendation or vote.
Also of interest:
Sec. 53a-151a. Intimidating a witness: Class C felony. (a) A person is guilty of intimidating a witness when, believing that an official proceeding is pending or about to be instituted, such person uses, attempts to use or threatens the use of physical force against a witness or another person with intent to (1) influence, delay or prevent the testimony of the witness in the official proceeding, or (2) induce the witness to testify falsely, withhold testimony, elude legal process summoning the witness to testify or absent himself or herself from the official proceeding.
(b) Intimidating a witness is a class C felony.
(P.A. 99-240, S. 1.)