A federal judge on Wednesday denied a motion by Bridgeport Mayor Joseph Ganim to move his trial on corruption charges from New Haven to Bridgeport.
Ganim’s attorney, Richard Meehan Jr., had filed a change of venue request in U.S. District Court in New Haven, where Ganim was indicted in October on 24 counts of bribery, racketeering, mail fraud, extortion and other charges. Ganim is accused of accepting $450,000 worth of cash, luxury goods, meals and other items in exchange for steering city contracts.
Meehan cited a general preference in the law that defendants be tried within the district where they live.
The case had been randomly assigned to a judge based in New Haven.
Prosecutors wanted the case to remain in New Haven, saying Ganim is not entitled to special privileges.
Ten other defendants, including some close associates of Ganim’s, have pleaded guilty in the New Haven courthouse since June to charges stemming from a federal corruption probe. The allegations include paying or receiving bribes for major city contracts, including the Ballpark at Harbor Yard, the Arena at Harbor Yard, and the redevelopment of the 50-acre Steel Point waterfront area.
Another motion by Ganim seeking more details about the allegations against him also was denied by U.S. District Judge Janet Bond Arterton. Ganim had argued the indictment is too vague and confusing, making it difficult to mount a defense.
Jury selection in Ganim’s case is scheduled to start in December.