April 13th, 2013 | City

Campaign manager charged with corruption

Josh Nassi, the former campaign manager for state Rep. Chris Donovan’s unsuccessful bid for the 5th district seat in Congress, pled guilty to campaign corruption charges on Friday.

Last May, news broke that Donovan’s campaign had sought to hide the true source of nearly $30,000 in campaign donations. Owners of roll-your-own tobacco shops throughout the state funneled the donations through straw donors – individuals with no ties to the tobacco industry – to Donovan’s Congressional campaign, seeking to kill legislation that would have banned roll-your-own tobacco operations statewide.

Donovan, who was the Speaker of the State House at the time, denied knowledge that his campaign had been involved in any wrongdoing.

Still, the scandal cost his campaign dearly, and he went on to lose the Democratic primary to Rep. Elizabeth Esty, who went on to win the 5th District Congressional seat.

“I am deeply saddened at today’s events in federal court,” Donovan said in a statement released on Friday. “I trusted Josh Nassi and he disappointed not only me, but also the people he served as one of my advisers.”

Nassi faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fne.