George Gallo, the former chief of staff to the House Republican minority in Hartford, pleaded guilty Monday to one count of mail fraud related to his steering GOP candidates to a direct mail company that paid him $117,000, the U.S. attorney’s office said.
Gallo, 46, resigned as the top aide to then-House Minority Leader Lawrence F. Cafero Jr. in February 2014 as FBI agents questioned legislators and reviewed records relating to campaign mailings he oversaw as the GOP caucus’ political strategist.
In 2008, Gallo helped develop a campaign program that relied on the state’s new system of publicly financing campaigns. He lined up the services of a direct-mail company that paid him a 10 percent commission on spending by candidates.
According to the U.S. attorney’s office, Gallo told Cafero he did not have a financial relationship with or received commissions from any vendors used by the entity he helped create, the House Republicans Campaign Committee.
From 2008 through 2012, the Florida direct mail company mailed checks worth $117,266 to Gallo’s consulting business, the Vinco Group.
Gallo admitted as part of his plea that he made false statements to FBI agents when they interviewed him in late 2013 about his relationship with campaign vendors.
House Minority Leader Themis Klarides, R-Derby, called the plea “a sad moment involving a former valued employee who violated the public trust and abrogated his official duties as a public employee.”
Klarides said “the only silver lining” was that the information made public as part of the plea shows no House Republicans or other staff were implicated in wrongdoing.
Sentencing is scheduled for July 29.