Father and son contractors pleaded guilty Friday to bribery and mail fraud charges, admitting they paid off close associates of Bridgeport Mayor Joseph P. Ganim to win city contracts.
Alfred Lenoci Jr. pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to a single count of bribery, three counts of mail fraud and one count of filing a false tax return. His father, Alfred Lenoci Sr., pleaded guilty to single counts of bribery and mail fraud.
The father, 66, and son, 39, were each released on $100,000 bond pending sentencing Jan. 7.
The pleas were the ninth and 10th in a federal probe of corruption in the City Hall in Bridgeport, the state’s largest city. Ganim has strongly denied any wrongdoing, but has acknowledged he appears to be the ultimate target of the probe.
The Lenocis admitted paying $500,000 in “consulting fees” to Paul J. Pinto, a Democratic Party fund-raiser and friend of Ganim, knowing that some of the money would be forwarded to an “elected official.”
Prosecutors have not formally identified the “elected official,” but court documents in previous pleas have referred to the street address of Ganim’s home.
Prosecutors said the $500,000 was paid to win Bridgeport contracts for environmental remediation and demolition.
The younger Lenoci also admitted agreeing in January 2000 to raise about $500,000 for an upcoming campaign by the “elected official.” Ganim, serving his fifth term as mayor, had indicated before the scandal broke he was interested in running for governor.
The Lenocis also admitted paying about $10,000 to subcontractors for work on the residence of the “elected official,” and providing benefits and services to a state Department of Economic and Community Development official who supported Lenoci’s application for a $6.5 million state grant.
The grant was used for the construction of a light industrial park. Prosecutors said the Lenocis gave Mark R. Trinkley landscaping and home improvement services and other benefits worth about $35,000.
Prosecutors said the younger Lenoci also had an agreement with Pinto to pay him $1 for every square foot of office space his company built in Bridgeport, knowing that Pinto would forward a portion of that money to the “elected official.”
Pinto pleaded guilty June 13 to racketeering, mail fraud and tax fraud. Trinkley, the only state official to admit wrongdoing in the probe, pleaded guilty Sept. 6 to mail fraud and filing a false tax return.
Under federal guidelines, the younger Lenoci faces about three or four years in prison, fines and restitution to the city of $420,000. There was no agreement on the possible sentence for the elder Lenoci.