|July 1, 2003
FORMER BRIDGEPORT MAYOR SENTENCED TO NINE YEARS IN PRISON
The United States Attorney's Office for the District of Connecticut
announced that JOSEPH P. GANIM, age 43, of 45 Sailors Lane in Bridgeport,
was sentenced to nine years in prison, three years of supervised release,
and a $150,000 fine for his conviction on corruption charges. The sentence
was imposed by United States District Judge Janet B. Arterton in New Haven.
The former five-term Mayor of the City of Bridgeport was convicted in
March after a two-month jury trial of 16 counts of racketeering, racketeering
conspiracy, extortion, mail fraud, bribery, conspiracy, and filing false
income tax returns.
GANIM was convicted of corruptly soliciting and receiving more than $500,000
in benefits, including cash, meals, entertainment, merchandise, home improvements
and professional services from Paul J. Pinto, the vice president of the
Kasper Group, a Bridgeport-based architecture and engineering firm, Leonard
J. Grimaldi, the president of Harbor Communications, a public relations
firm based in Redding, Connecticut, and Alfred Lenoci Sr., and Alfred
Lenoci Jr., the president and vice president, respectively, of United
Properties, a Bridgeport, Connecticut, real estate development firm, in
exchange for steering lucrative city contracts to the Kasper Group, Harbor
Communications and United Properties.
Among other things, GANIM was convicted of extortion in connection with
in 1996 of the Professional Services Group ("PSG") to operate
the city's waste water treatment facilities. GANIM conditioned his selection
of PSG, a client of Mr. Grimaldi's, upon the company's payment of $350,000
to Mr. Grimaldi and Mr. Pinto. GANIM was also convicted of bribery in
connection with his awarding in 1999 of an 18- year extension of PSG's
contract with the city. In return, GANIM received a kickback from Grimaldi
in the amount of approximately $150,000 - one third of the consulting
fee that Grimaldi was paid by PSG. In addition, GANIM was convicted of
conspiring with Pinto and the Lenocis to accept $1 for every square foot
of commercial space built by United Properties in Bridgeport in return
for GANIM's support for and approval of those projects. GANIM was also
convicted of fraudulently concealing his use of hundreds of thousands
of dollars of municipal funds to purchase a $1 million life insurance
policy for himself.
Paul J. Pinto, Leonard J. Grimaldi and eight other defendants previously
pleaded guilty to racketeering, bribery and tax fraud. They are scheduled
to be sentenced this month.
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the
Internal Revenue Service/Criminal Investigation, the Defense Criminal
Investigative Service and the Defense Contract Audit Agency. The case
was prosecuted by Supervisory Assistant United States Attorney Ronald
S. Apter and Assistant United States Attorney Michael R. Sklaire.