Statement of Thomas P. Gaffey

“It is with profound sadness and deep regret that I have decided, despite having recently been reelected to my ninth term  as the State Senator from the 13th District (which includes Meriden, Middletown (part) and Cheshire (part)), that I will exit from the political arena and will not take the oath of office on January 5, 2011. I will be submitting a letter to the Secretary of State notifying her of my decision in accordance with state statute.

The State Elections Enforcement Commission (SEEC) proceeding regarding my political action committee began in January 2008 and concluded in May 2009. I cooperated completely with the investigation and have always taken full responsibility for mistakes that were made.  I apologize to my family, friends, colleagues and the voters of my district for any embarrassment my mistakes may have caused.

As part of the consent decree in the SEEC matter, which involved approximately $2500 of duplicative reimbursements during 2004-2007, reimbursement was made in full and I paid a substantial fine.  Also, a substantial sum (in excess of $ 10,000) was forfeited by the PAC to the state.

In December 2010 it became clear that the State’s Attorney would also proceed with the matter.  A resolution of the case was not worked out until very recently.  Under the agreement, on January 5, 2011 I will be entering a guilty plea to misdemeanors and will agree to perform one hundred hours of community service.

Under the terms of the plea agreement, there is nothing to prevent me from continuing as the State Senator from the 13th District.  My family, friends and community have already endured a process which has spanned three years.  If I were to remain in office, they would inevitably have to endure an ongoing political controversy for years to come.  I will not ask them to do so.

My decision is a deeply personal one.  I have decided that the best course of action for everyone involved is for me to walk off the political battlefield.  My family and I have suffered immensely throughout this long ordeal and need closure. This ordeal needs to end and I have decided to end it now.

Throughout the last campaign, the underlying facts of the SEEC investigation were placed before the voters of my district in great detail, and they decided I should continue to serve them.  I will always be grateful for their understanding and support.  I have been blessed with great supporters, colleagues, and friends.  I have loved serving as their senator, and believe that much good can be done in public life. The people of my district deserve a “fresh start” with a senator without the unnecessary baggage of controversy.

I have tremendous respect for the Senate and the General Assembly as a whole. My colleagues and the new administration need to address the very important work ahead devoid of any distraction. I wish my constituents and colleagues all the best that the future holds.  It has been an honor to serve.”