Former mayor who spent time in prison seeks office run - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Former mayor who spent time in prison seeks office run

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Joe Santopietro (WFSB file photo) Joe Santopietro (WFSB file photo)

Waterbury's former mayor who spent time in prison for bribery and corruption is once again seeking public office.

Joe Santopietro plans to run as a Republican for the Board of Alderman.

He didn't just commit one crime; he was convicted on 18 counts for things like as stealing money while in office.

He's been out of public life for 25 years, and now he's hoping for some forgiveness.

"Everyone came up to me and said why don't you run for the board of alderman and I said why not,” Santopietro said.

He ran the city of Waterbury for nearly six years. He was only 26 then and was elected to three terms.

He was arrested at the end of his last term and then convicted on 18 criminal counts.

Santopietro was sent to prison for six years.

“I am not looking for a leadership position, I am looking for a voice on the board of alderman. No individual alderman has any power,” Santopietro said.

Even after getting out of prison, Santopietro was charged again. This time, in a trash hauling scheme. He pled guilty and was put on probation.

Santopietro was given a lenient sentence after his wife Julie Porzio had been shot outside a courthouse in Middletown. Porzio, an attorney, was wounded by the husband of a woman she was representing in a custody battle. The judge felt he needed to take care of his wife and their two young daughters.

Other convicted Connecticut politicians have made come backs. Former mayor Joe Ganim served 7 years in prison for corruption. He recently ran for mayor of Bridgeport and won, and after getting out of prison the first time, former governor John Rowland got a job with the city of Waterbury.

"I don't like the idea I am a crook but that's the truth. I have been convicted. It's not something I take very lightly but I am asking for redemption I am asking for any other chance,” Santopietro said.

The election is this November and Santopietro plans to start campaigning by knocking on doors.

He expects to hear a lot of comments from voters on his past but again, he's looking for forgiveness.

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