Article Last Updated:
Friday, February 15, 2002 - 12:00:00 AM MST

Bridgeport judge reschedules
sentencing Mayor Ganim's associates

By MICHAEL P. MAYKO

NEW HAVEN -- A federal judge set new sentencing dates for the one business and nine men who pleaded guilty in a widening corruption probe involving Bridgeport Mayor Joseph P. Ganim.

The indictment alleges that kickbacks intended for Ganim were funneled through Leonard Grimaldi and Paul J. Pinto, friends of Ganim. Grimaldi's public relations firm was hired by PSG when they bid on the privatization contract. Pinto and Grimaldi pleaded guilty to federal racketeering charges and are cooperating with the federal probe. PSG has not been accused of wrongdoing

Ganim pleaded innocent in November to a 24-count federal indictment charging him with racketeering, extortion, bribery, mail fraud and tax evasion.

Arterton also changed Ganim's trial date from Jan. 6 to Jan. 2, 2003. She set jury selection for Dec. 4.

Meehan expressed concern that Sullivan, who underwent treatment for breast cancer, would be unavailable to testify at a trial. But Supervisory Assistant U.S. Attorney Ronald Apter advised the judge that Sullivan completed her treatment, returned to work and "is ready and willing" to testify at the mayor's trial.

Arterton set the following dates for sentencing:

May 21: Fales Trucking Co. of Easton. The firm admitted overcharging the city $104,000 by mixing debris from projects outside of Bridgeport with tainted material taken from the construction site of Bridgeport's hockey arena. The firm agreed to repay the city and faces fines of up to $124,800 for its guilty plea to mail fraud.

May 22: Patrick Coyne, 41, formerly of Seaview Terrace, Bridgeport, the former director of mayoral initiatives, pleaded guilty to mail fraud in a scheme in which the city was overbilled by about $100,000 for asbestos removal. He faces up to five years in prison.

May 23: Scott Arena, 30, of Wallingford, general manager of ChemScope Inc. of North Haven. He faces a maximum five-year sentence for mail fraud stemming from the asbestos removal scam.

May 28: Brian Bannon, 34, of High Street, Milford, secretary of Asbestos Abatement and Insulation Services Corp. of West Haven. He faces a maximum five years for mail fraud linked to the asbestos scam.

May 24: Mark Trinkley, 44, of Coral Drive, Fairfield, a former manager in the state Department of Economic and Community Development's Bridgeport office, faces up to eight years in prison on mail fraud and tax evasion charges. He admitted receiving $35,000 in free work on his home for his role in pushing for approval on a $6.5 million grant to develop a light industrial complex. The grant was intended for a subsidiary of United Properties Inc., one of the area's biggest development firms.

May 31: Two principals of United Properties, Alfred Lenoci Sr. 66, and Alfred Jr., 39, both of Easton, admitted providing Trinkley with free work on his home and agreeing to pay Pinto $1 for each square foot of development work he could obtain from the city for their firm.

The younger Lenoci pleaded guilty to three counts of mail fraud as well as to bribery and tax evasion, which carry a total maximum 28-year prison term.

Lenoci Sr. faces a maximum of 15 years in prison for bribery and mail fraud.

May 29: Pinto, 30, of Easton, faces up to 28 years in prison for pleading guilty to racketeering, mail fraud and filing false tax returns.

May 30: Grimaldi, 42, of Monroe, faces up to 23 years in prison for racketeering and filing a false tax return.

June 21: The remaining defendant Frank Sullivan, 39, of Fairfield, Ganim's boyhood friend, faces up to five years in prison for mail fraud. Sullivan admitted to paying kickbacks in exchange for receiving brokerage work in connection with the city police and fire pensions.

Michael P. Mayko, who covers legal issues, can be reached at 330-6286.