Federal subpoenas released in investigation of state legislature

State legislative leaders Friday released copies of federal subpoenas served on the General Assembly last fall as part of the investigation arising from the arrest of top officials in the failed congressional campaign of former House Speaker Christopher Donovan, D-Meriden.

The subpoenas were released with the consent of federal prosecutors, who say their disclosure no longer would jeopardize a corruption investigation that derailed Donovan's candidacy last summer, without ever directly implicating him in wrongdoing.

But the office of U.S. Attorney David Fein asked that copies of the records obtained with the subpoenas -- apparently a vast trove of emails and other correspondence pertaining to tobacco legislation and state bonding -- be withheld from the public, an indication that investigation is ongoing.

"It continues to be this Office's view that disclosure... may interfere with and prejudice this investigation, and we renew our request that no such disclosure be made," wrote Christopher M. Mattei, the prosecutor overseeing the investigation.

Federal prosecutors last fall served subpoenas on three state legislative employees seeking records pertaining to the roll-your-own tobacco issue that derailed Donovan's candidacy.

The arrests of Donovan's former campaign manager and finance director in the months before the Democratic primary in August essentially ended his campaign for a nomination won by Elizabeth Esty, who also won the general election for the open 5th District seat.

They were charged in connection with what federal authorities say was an attempt to trade $27,500 in campaign donations in return for blocking legislation that would have imposed fees on a roll-your-own tobacco business owned by Paul Rogers.

Rogers, 40, of Middlebury pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in New Haven in January to one count of devising a scheme to bribe a public official and one count of making false statements to the Federal Election Commission.