House Republican leader Lawrence Cafero maintained his position Thursday that no one ever left $5,000 in cash in his office refrigerator, despite testimony to the contrary by a cooperating witness at a trial in New Haven.
Cafero made his statement following the release of a new video of Cafero and the witness that was shown Thursday at the criminal trial in the campaign finance scandal that led to last year’s Congressional defeat of House Speaker Christopher Donovan.
“I stick by my story 1,000 percent,” Cafero told Capitol Watch.
The secretly recorded video shows Cafero talking to Harry Raymond Soucy in Cafero’s office in the Legislative Office building in Hartford. Soucy, a longtime union member and Democratic supporter who became a cooperating witness in an FBI sting operation, turns to Cafero on the videotape and says, “You got anything cold to drink in there?”
The two men then discussed that there was water in the refrigerator, and they both walked to the refrigerator.
Soucy mentioned that ”if you happen to find something later.”
It was not immediately clear from the tape what exactly happened when the two men walked over to the refrigerator on the other side of the room, but Cafero can be heard saying, “No, no, no. You know what I mean.”
Cafero maintains that Soucy’s statement that he left $5,000 in the refrigerator is false.
“When I heard that was his testimony, I said, that’s patently untrue,” Cafero said Thursday. “That’s a patent lie. No one left $5,000 in my refrigerator that I found and gave to [Republican aide] John Healey to go to return. And I stick by that story. And if there’s a tape, I’m dying to see it, too. But I can’t react to something I haven’t seen.”
“All I know is what he testified to yesterday never happened,” Cafero said Thursday. “He never left $5,000 in my refrigerator that I subsequently discovered in cash and gave to John Healy to return. Never, ever.”
When asked to rate the credibility of Soucy on a scale of 1 to 10, Cafero initially did not answer. Several minutes later, Cafero said that Soucy’s credibility is “negative five.”
When asked if he wanted to travel to New Haven to the trial in order to testify and clarify his story, Cafero said no.
“The good news is I’m not on trial,” Cafero said. “I haven’t been accused of anything. I’m not being investigated. But when your name is brought up at a trial that you’re not a part of, I have no idea what he’s saying. I’m hearing it third-hand.”
Regarding Soucy, Cafero added, ”Yesterday, he contradicted the testimony of the guy who testified the day before, who said it the way I said it. Yesterday, he says, ’I left it in the refrigerator. Cafero finally gave it to John Healey.’ He contradicted himself.”