Jury selection in State Senator Dennis Bradley’s federal campaign finance trial is set to take place May 31 before U.S. District Judge Victor Bolden who will decide whether Bradley and alleged former co-conspirator Jessica Martinez will sit. together at the defense table.
The two are charged with multiple counts of wire fraud for alleged violations of Connecticut’s public finance program, including tampering with donor cards in an effort to receive approximately $180,000 in taxpayer money to fund the candidacy of Bradley in state office in 2018. Martinez, who served as his campaign treasurer, faces additional charges of providing false information to a grand jury and federal agents.
His public defender asked the court to sever the cases portraying Bradley as a controller with considerable influence.
“Mr. Bradley had tremendous power over Ms. Martinez because of their attorney-client relationship, their employer-subordinate relationship, and their personal relationship; that Mr. Bradley wielded considerable influence over Ms. Martinez; and that Ms. Martinez finds herself charged with federal crimes because Mr. Bradley manipulated her in an effort to cover up his own misconduct,” Martinez’s motion states.
Federal prosecutors say that’s not a compelling reason to separate the cases.
“The fact that Martinez intends to blame Bradley for his conduct is precisely the kind of adversarial defense that does not warrant separate trials under the law,” federal prosecutors wrote in a response. “The fact that Martinez thinks she might have a better chance of being acquitted in separate trials is not just cause for separation.”
Additionally, according to prosecutors, Martinez confessed to lying about his involvement in a campaign event for Bradley at Dolphin’s Cove in Bridgeport on March 15, 2018, which is the flashpoint of the alleged conspiracy to defraud. Bradley is accused of illegally mixing personal and law firm funds at a campaign event to kick off his race. Campaign donations were solicited at the event.
If Martinez’s separation petition fails, will her public defender present her as a victim of a puppeteer who manipulated her to cover her tracks?
Yet how does she defend lying before a grand jury and federal agents?
As Bradley fights for his freedom, he’s also seeking re-election with an August Democratic primary looming. Deputy Director General Herron Gaston is the candidate sponsored by the party. Bradley qualified for the primary.