Newton threatens to sue state elections officials

As he continues to fight allegations he abused Connecticut’s public campaign financing program in his bid to return to the legislature last year, ex-Democratic state Sen. Ernie Newton is also threatening to sue his accusers for violating his rights.

Newton’s attorney Thursday contacted various media outlets about the tactic.

“Our defense has taken a new posture,” said Darnell Crosland. “We’re putting together a federal lawsuit claiming civil rights violations.”

Crosland said he and Newton believe the state Elections Enforcement Commission went out of its way to hound Newton’s campaign, citing the outgoing EEC chairman’s opposition to giving Newton, who went to jail on federal corruption charges related to his Senate seat, a campaign grant.

“Ernie’s campaign was treated differently,” Crosland said.

He said he will be releasing more details.

The EEC declined to comment on possible litigation.

The threatened counter-suit should not surprise those who have followed Newton’s fall from and return to Bridgeport politics because he and his supporters have portrayed him as the victim/underdog fighting the establishment for the people.

Newton’s 2012 campaign was all about the idea that those in power are unwilling to forgive felons.

Brian Lockhart