- Associated Press - Thursday, August 27, 2015

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - George Gallo, the former chief of staff to the Connecticut House Republicans, was sentenced Thursday to a year and a day in prison for taking more than $100,000 in payments from a political campaign direct mail company to which he steered business.

As part of his job, Gallo set up coordinated campaign support for Republican state House candidates through a state-registered political action committee. He selected the vendors, including the Florida-based direct mail company.

“While he was a well-paid state employee, this defendant took advantage of Connecticut’s public campaign financing system by steering business to campaign vendors with whom he had a business relationship and profited handsomely as a result,” said Deirdre Daly, the top federal prosecutor in Connecticut.

Gallo, 47, of East Hampton, pleaded guilty in April to one count of mail fraud. Prosecutors sought a sentence of 15 months in prison, while defense attorneys asked for him to be let off with probation.

Prosecutors said he lied to his boss, the House minority leader, and others about setting up his own financial relationship with the direct mail company

Gallo resigned in February 2014 amid an FBI investigation. Prosecutors said he also acknowledged lying to the FBI as part of his guilty plea.

Gallo arranged for the direct mail company and other vendors to give presentations at “campaign schools” for candidates. He arranged for candidates to meet individually with the company, which paid him 10 percent of the revenue it received from the candidates, prosecutors said.

Between 2008 and 2012, prosecutors said, Gallo received about $117,000 from the company in checks payable to a business he set up.

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