A federal judge denied Bridgeport Mayor Joseph Ganim’s request for a dismissal of his corruption indictment Thursday.
But Judge Janet Bond Arterton’s ruling in U.S. District Court in New Haven also said that prosecutors must provide more details of the unlawful benefits Ganim allegedly received.
“Although we had hoped to short-circuit some of this case, on balance we think she struck a fair balance by requiring them to reveal more specific information,” Richard Meehan Jr., Ganim’s lawyer, said. “We’re extremely pleased with the outcome at this juncture.”
The U.S. Attorneys’ office declined to comment, saying prosecutors were reviewing the decision.
Ganim was indicted last October on 24 counts of racketeering, extortion, mail fraud, bribery and tax evasion. He is accused of accepting more than $400,000 worth of cash, luxury goods, meals and other items in exchange for steering city contracts.
Ganim has pleaded innocent to the charges. His trial is scheduled to begin in January.
Eleven other defendants, including some of Ganim’s close associates, have pleaded guilty to various corruption charges.
Arterton reversed part of an earlier ruling she made by ordering the government to provide more details on the benefits Ganim allegedly received.
“Although the list of benefits has a veneer of precision in that it alleges specific gifts along with the alleged value and date of the gift … this precision evaporates upon closer examination,” Arterton wrote.
The judge said Ganim needs more details to prepare his defense and to prevent a second prosecution of the same offense. She said the list “contains myriad types” of benefits that could allow the government to offer other evidence of a type of benefit if evidence was rejected.
But with more detailed benefits cited, dismissal of the charges is not warranted, Arterton said.
In March, Ganim challenged his indictment on several grounds, arguing that it should be dismissed because it fails to support accusations he took bribes.
The motion challenged the assertion that a racketeering enterprise existed, saying the indictment was “largely silent” on whether Ganim ever received any of the alleged bribes and instead relied heavily on the allegation that one of his associates held the money on behalf of the mayor.
Arterton rejected Ganim’s argument of what the government must prove to show racketeering activity.
The motion also challenged mail fraud charges, saying the indictment does not sufficiently relate the mailings to the alleged scheme.
Arterton said some of Ganim’s arguments are without merit, while others raise issues that must be determined at trial after the government presents its evidence.