Shelley A. Marcus, a Democrat who has been nominated as a Superior Court judge, did not reveal any details to the governor’s office about a controversial “gifting table” club that is now the subject of a high-profile, federal fraud trial, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said Friday.
Malloy told reporters that he had no knowledge of Marcus’s role in the case, which was the subject of a front-page article Friday in The Hartford Courant. The story said that a witness testified Thursday in federal court that Marcus told a participant that she should not be concerned about an investigation by then-Attorney General Richard Blumenthal into the legality of the club. Federal prosecutors have described the club’s activities as a financial conspiracy and essentially a Ponzi scheme involving large amounts of cash, while the defendants said they were advised by lawyers and accountants that the club was legal. Overall, more than $5 million changed hands among more than 70 women, including many who lived in upscale towns like Guilford and Branford.
“It did not come up in her review before the [Judicial Selection Commission] that sent her, and it did not come up in her background search that they do,” Malloy told The Courant.
When asked if he still has confidence in Marcus as his nominee for a judgeship, Malloy said, “Yeah. What I’m going to do is just wait until this whole thing is over, and we’ll take a look at it. There’s no reason to do anything at this point.”
All nominees for judgeships are asked a standard, catch-all question of whether there is anything in their background that might embarrass themselves or the administration if it became public.
“This did not come up,” Malloy said.
When asked by an online reporter if he should have been given a heads-up by Marcus on the catch-all question, Malloy said, “Answering that, you know, my legal staff does all of the initial interviews and asks those kinds of questions. So, I don’t have an exact date, and so it would be difficult for me to tell you when exactly that question was asked and when this particular issue came up. So I don’t want to speak to that. But what’s happening is the trial is playing itself out. People say things in the course of trials. Let’s wait and see till it’s over.”
Shelley Marcus, a 61-year-old Branford resident, is the daughter of attorney Edward Marcus, the 85-year-old former chairman of the state Democratic Party and former state senator who lost in a race against a young politician named Joe Lieberman in New Haven in 1970. Marcus was an early supporter of Malloy in the race for governor.
Shelley Marcus, who has worked for her father’s law firm for more than 20 years, is the former chief screening counsel for the House Democrats.
“Ed, for years, was trying to make Shelley a judge,” said one insider.