Brief: Bail bondsman seeks to reverse guilty plea in cop-bribery case

A bail bondsman arrested for allegedly bribing an undercover cop is trying to reverse his guilty plea for corruption charges, but Deputy Assistant U.S. Attorney Nora Dannehy said his plea withdrawal — made five months after his initial plea — is irrational, the New Haven Register reported Thursday.

Paul Jacobs pleaded guilty to federal bribery charges Oct. 31 after a federal and state investigation into the New Haven Police Department Narcotics Unit. Now, with the surfacing of previously undisclosed transcripts recorded by the FBI, Jacobs said he believes his acts of bribery were unethical, but not illegal, the Register said.

Dannehy asked the judge to ignore Jacobs’ request for a plea change, and said his change of heart “defies logic and common sense,” the Register reported.

At Jacobs’ October plea hearing, he admitted to bribing the former head of the NHPD Narcotics Unit head, William “Billy” White. His father, Robert Jacobs, and his brother, Philip Jacobs — both bail bondsmen as well — pleaded guilty to similar corruption charges. The U.S. District Court determined that the three Jacobs together could each face five-year sentences and $250,000 in fines, as well as being forced to relinquish together $750,000 in revenue they gained from their illegal dealings with police.

According to a U.S. Department of Justice press release from October, the Jacobs bribed White to encourage NHPD officers to seize individuals who had “failed to appear for cases in which the Jacobs had posted a bond and therefore stood to suffer financially.”

The three Jacobs men are all set to appear in court April 9.

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