MERIDEN, Conn. (AP) _ A defiant and emotional Connecticut House Speaker Chris Donovan strongly denied Sunday that he had any knowledge of money trading hands in exchange for legislation as alleged by federal authorities who arrested the one-time finance director of his congressional campaign.
In his first public comments about the scandal since the arrest of his former aide, Robert Braddock Jr., was announced on Thursday, Donovan met with reporters on the sidewalk outside his campaign headquarters in downtown Meriden.
â€œAt no time did I know that anyone might have been trying to funnel illegal contributions to my campaign,â€ Donovan said. â€œNo one ever made a deal with me as a quid pro quo.â€
He said he learned of the investigation on Wednesday as Braddock was to be arrested, when the FBI called him â€œout of the blueâ€ for an interview.
Braddockâ€™s arrest, Donovan said, was like â€œgetting punched in the stomach.â€
Braddockâ€™s lawyer has said his client is innocent and will plead not guilty.
Gabe Rosenberg, Donovanâ€™s spokesman, interrupted the news conference several times to say the speaker will not discuss details of what he may know about the investigation, including his interview with the FBI.
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