States Attorney's Office District of Connecticut
|January 6, 2010||
SHELTON BUILDING OFFICIAL ADMITS LYING TO GRAND JURY DURING PUBLIC CORRUPTION PROBE
Nora R. Dannehy, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that ELLIOTT WILSON, 66, of Shelton, Connecticut, pleaded guilty today before Senior United States District Judge Charles S. Haight, Jr. in New Haven to one count of making a false declaration to a federal grand jury during a probe of public corruption concerning officials and developers in Shelton.
According to court documents and statements made in court, from approximately 1999 to 2009, WILSON was employed by the City of Shelton as the head building official, with responsibilities that included inspecting development projects and issuing certificates of occupancy. During that time period, WILSON received items of value from developers in Shelton who sought to influence him in connection with his official duties. These items included, but were not limited to, cash payments, building supplies, gift certificates and the opportunity to purchase a vehicle through a dealership at a price below the market value of the vehicle.
On February 23, 2009, Federal Bureau of Investigation agents interviewed WILSON. During that interview, WILSON falsely told agents that he had not received any items of value or cash from a specific Shelton developer (described in court filings as “Developer A”) other than the receipt of small cash payments at Christmas time. After being confronted with the fact that WILSON had received building supplies from Developer A, WILSON admitted that he did receive building supplies from the developer. However, WILSON maintained that, other than the building supplies and the small cash payments at Christmas time, he had not received any other benefit from Developer A. This statement was false, in that WILSON, while inspecting a location built by Developer A, had requested and thereafter received approximately $2,500 in cash from the developer.
On February 26, 2009, WILSON appeared before a federal grand jury in New Haven that was investigating allegations that public officials, developers and others engaged in acts of public corruption. After taking an oath to testify truthfully, WILSON knowingly provided materially false testimony to the grand jury regarding benefits he had received from developers. In particular, WILSON falsely testified that in approximately December 2008, he provided Developer A with $1,000 in cash to repay part of the $2,500 in cash provided to WILSON by the developer when, in fact, WILSON had not made any payment to the developer. WILSON also falsely testified that he had purchased a vehicle from a dealership that had previously been owned by a developer (described in court filings as “Developer B”) because WILSON wanted the dealership to provide him with a dealership warranty. However, the dealership did not provide WILSON with such a warranty, and the Government alleges that Developer B had arranged for WILSON to purchase a vehicle from the dealership at a price below the market value of the vehicle, and that Developer B was using the third-party dealership to conceal the benefit this developer was providing to WILSON.
“A public official who knowingly perjures himself before a federal grand jury about benefits he received while purportedly serving the public violates his duty of public trust and offends the administration of justice,” U.S. Attorney Dannehy stated.
Judge Haight has scheduled sentencing for March 26, 2010, at which time WILSON faces a maximum term of imprisonment of five years and fine of to $250,000.
This matter was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation Division. The case is being prosecuted by Senior Litigation Counsel Richard J. Schechter and Assistant U.S. Attorney Rahul Kale.
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