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Press Release

Former Bridgeport City Councilman Pleads Guilty to Civil Rights Charge Related to Primaries and Election in 2017 and 2018

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Connecticut

Vanessa Roberts Avery, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, and Robert Fuller, Special Agent in Charge of the New Haven Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, announced that MICHAEL DeFILIPPO, 37, pleaded guilty today before U.S. District Judge Victor A. Bolden in New Haven to a civil rights offense related to DeFilippo’s run for Bridgeport City Council in 2017 and 2018.

According to court documents and statements made in court, from June 2018 until July 2021, DeFilippo was a member of the Bridgeport City Council representing the 133rd District, which is near the Sacred Heart University campus.  DeFilippo also owned several rental properties that he leased to students at Sacred Heart University.  Although Bridgeport’s City Council elections are typically held in odd-numbered years, because of repeated absentee ballot irregularities in the Democratic primary for the 133rd District, the September 2017 primary was re-run in November 2017, and re-run again in April 2018, and the general election took place in June 2018.   On April 10, 2018, DeFilippo was selected as one of the two Democratic nominees for the 133rd District and, on June 26, 2018, he was elected to the Bridgeport City Council.

In the 2017 and 2018 primaries and the 2018 general election, DeFilippo stole and falsified Voter Registration Applications (“VRAs”) and absentee balloting documents, forged signatures, and submitted fraudulent election documents to election officials in the name of some of his tenants who resided in the 133rd District.  DeFilippo’s conduct caused Bridgeport and Connecticut election officials acting under color of law to deprive DeFilippo’s tenants of their right to vote (by counting stolen ballots), and to deprive all 133rd District voters of their right to have their votes fully counted (by diluting election results with fraudulent registrations and ballots).

DeFilippo pleaded guilty to deprivation of rights under color of law.  At sentencing, which is not scheduled, he faces a maximum term of imprisonment of one year and a fine of up to $100,000.  DeFilippo is released on bond pending sentencing.

This case is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jonathan N. Francis and Heather L. Cherry.

Updated May 6, 2024

Civil Rights
Public Corruption
Voting and Elections