Another defendant in Donovan ‘straw donor’ case pleads guilty

Daniel Monteiro, 33, of Wolcott pleaded guilty Wednesday to a federal conspiracy charge arising from the effort to use campaign contributions to the congressional campaign of former House Speaker Christopher Donovan to influence legislation in the General Assembly last year, the U.S. attorney’s office said.

Monteiro, who pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to make false statements to the Federal Election Commission, is the fourth defendant to enter a guilty plea. Four others face trial.

Donovan has not been accused of knowledge of the alleged conspiracy to kill an effort to impose fees on the roll-your-own tobacco business, but the cloud over his candidacy after the arrest of his finance director and former campaign manager was a major issue in his losing campaign.

Meanwhile, federal prosecutors are seeking a 24-month sentence for David Moffa, a defendant in the case who faces sentencing on Monday, saying in legal papers that the conspirators “struck at the principles of transparency and fairness upon which our electoral and political processes rely.”

Moffa is accused of using straw donors to hide the source of campaign contributions smoke-shop owners to the Donovan campaign.

His lawyer is asking the court to impose a fine and a period of home confinement for Moffa, who is a retired correction officer and union official. He has no previous criminal record.