Thursday, August 30, 2007

DeLuca Committee And The Need To Know

The special Senate investigating committee inquiring into the DeLuca affair has issued a request to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Attorney’s office, the state police, Waterbury police and the chief state’s attorney, asking for information necessary to discharge its legislative mandate; upon completing its investigation, the committee is empowered to recommend Sen. Lou DeLuca’s expulsion from the senate.

It is not known whether any of the agencies that will be contacted by the committee will comply with its requests.

Committee co-chair Martin Looney, the Senate Majority Leader, is dubious. Such information, he said, “Is not frequently requested.” Republican co-chair of the committee Sen. Andrew Roraback and others on the committee think it is necessary to acquire the information, which would include an audio tape or a transcript of a conversation DeLuca had with an FBI posing as a confederate of James Galante, the subject of a 93 criminal count racketeering indictment.

The four page FBI affidavit supporting the charges brought
against DeLuca, to which he has pleaded guilty, states that it “does not set forth all of the facts and evidence ... gathered during the course of the investigation of this matter.”

Committee members have pointed out that, DeLuca having pleaded guilty to charges brought against him, the case against DeLuca should be considered closed.

It is an open question whether the release of the information requested by the committee will adversely affect the case the FBI and other agencies are building against Gallante and other persons under investigation that the FBI has intimated are mob connected. The information requested by the committee clearly does not exceed its commission. Should the information be denied, very likely a judge, reviewing the data requested by the committee, will decide whether the interest of the committee is compelling enough to force the agencies to disgorge the information the committee considers necessary to discharge its legal and political responsibilities.

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