- Associated Press - Thursday, February 20, 2014

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - The chief of staff to the Connecticut House Republicans resigned Thursday, a day after the FBI interviewed GOP representatives regarding a vendor used for campaign mailings.

House Minority Leader Lawrence Cafero Jr. confirmed that George Gallo, a former state Republican chairman and campaign manager for former Gov. John G. Rowland’s 2002 campaign, had submitted his resignation. Cafero said Gallo “offered his opinion that he is a person of interest of the investigation.”

Cafero said Gallo has served the House GOP caucus “honorably and with the highest level of professional standards since 2007.”

Gallo’s defense attorney, Hubert Santos in Hartford, did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment.

This latest federal probe comes nearly two years after another FBI investigation involving the Connecticut House of Representatives. That investigation centered on nearly $28,000 in illegal contributions to former Democratic House Speaker Christopher Donovan’s congressional race. Prosecutors said the scheme involved roll-your-own tobacco shop owners who wanted Donovan to kill state legislation that taxed their industry.

Ultimately, eight people were convicted in the scheme. Donovan, however, was not charged with any crimes. He was informed by the U.S. Attorney earlier this month that her office would not pursue any charges against him.

In a statement released Thursday, Cafero said the FBI came to the Legislative Office Building in Hartford on Wednesday to interview various Republican representatives. In addition, he said subpoenas were served on the House Republican Office, the House Republican Campaign Committee and the Office of Legislative Management.

“Our caucus is cooperating fully with the federal inquiry into House Republican activities,” he said, adding how federal officials have asked the caucus to refrain from divulging details of the investigation to the public.

Dan Curtin, a special agent and spokesman for the FBI in Connecticut, acknowledged that the FBI “has a presence at the Capitol this week” but did not provide any further information.

“The FBI will not discuss the details of a pending investigation,” he said.

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Associated Press Writer Pat Eaton-Robb contributed to this report.