Is there room for more than one “second-chance Dan” in the governor’s office?
Middletown Mayor Dan Drew is standing by a one-time Mafia member who served prison time for racketeering and contributed to Drew’s exploratory committee for governor.
Salvatore “Butch” D’Aquila Jr. has given $375, the maximum allowed under the state’s clean-elections law, to Drew since the beginning of the year, filings with the state Elections Enforcement Commission show. He also attended a fundraiser for Drew, a Democrat who is seeking to become the heir apparent to criminal justice reformer Gov. Dannel P. Malloy in 2018.
In 1991, D’Aquila was sentenced to 15 years in prison for running an illegal gambling ring for the Patriarca crime family — aka the New England mob.
“I’m not going to run away from him,” Drew, now a declared candidate for governor, told Hearst Connecticut Media. “He paid his debt to society.”
D’Aquila listed his occupation as a manager for the Carabetta Companies, a property management, real estate development and construction company, on his contribution form. The firm has at least 11 rental properties in Middletown, where Drew said he was not aware of any contracts between the city and the company.
“He is a member of the Middletown community,” Drew said of D’Aquila, an Old Saybrook resident. “He’s a friend.”
Connecticut has developed a reputation as the second-chance state under Malloy because of the governor’s bail reform and other criminal justice reform initiatives. And then there’s Joe Ganim, the second-chance mayor of the state’s largest city,…
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