Kevin Smith - Connecticut Criminal Trial Lawyer of the Year 2022

News Coverage


One-time Connecticut drug dealer wins fight with state over obscure state law taxing illegal narcotics

One-time Connecticut drug dealer wins fight with state over obscure state law taxing illegal narcotics

- Hartford Courant
A former small-time drug dealer has successfully challenged an odd law requiring illegal narcotics traffickers to declare their inventories to the state tax department and allowing the state to extract big penalties from those who don’t.
Randy Weinberg, convicted of selling pain pills in New London, claimed that the obscure tax law is selectively enforced and inconsequential in terms of collecting revenue. The purpose of the law, he argued, is to punish drug dealers twice —...

Hartford fired consultant now at the center of state school construction scandal; cost a key factor, mayor says

Hartford fired consultant now at the center of state school construction scandal; cost a key factor, mayor says

- Hartford Courant
The city of Hartford hired a new consultant on a school building project — even through it already had a different consultant under contract for the same work.
Elsewhere in the state, several cities and towns building new schools said they were told to reject low bids for demolition work and hire a contractor that charged more.
Similar issues are becoming public as federal investigators dig in on an investigation focused largely on the state’s pricey school construction...

Records: A former Connecticut official’s daughter landed a job as a firm was awarded no-bid contracts

Records: A former Connecticut official’s daughter landed a job as a firm was awarded no-bid contracts

- Hartford Courant
A construction management firm at the center of a federal grand jury probe into school construction grants got two no-bid contracts worth a combined $530,000 to oversee the building of a new elementary school in Tolland — during the same period of time it hired the daughter of Konstantinos Diamantis.
The elder Diamantis had been the director of the state Office of School Construction Grants and Review until he resigned Oct. 28.
Tolland officials hired Construction Advocacy...

Charges dropped against accused deadly fire starter

Charges dropped against accused deadly fire starter

Prosecutor cites lack of evidence, including unreliable witness

- Hartford Courant
Arson and murder charges against a woman accused of using hand sanitizer to start a fire that killed one and injured dozens in Hartford last year have been dismissed.
The case against Destiny Waite, 29, of Hartford was dismissed June 18 in Superior Court in Hartford. Her charges included felony murder, first-degree arson and four counts of first-degree assault, the latter charge because four people were critically injured in the fire.
“I’m just happy that it’s off...

Hartford police sergeant sues city and chief over alleged harassment by a ‘favorite’ officer in department

Hartford police sergeant sues city and chief over alleged harassment by a ‘favorite’ officer in department

- Hartford Courant
A Hartford police sergeant is suing the city and top police officials, claiming they are protecting a favorite patrol officer who has been harassing him with negative comments and wolf whistles.
Sgt. John Zweibelson, a patrol shift supervisor, complained in October 2019 after, while listening to police radio channels, he overheard a subordinate officer disparaging him to a dispatcher, calling Zweibelson “a tool” and a “total absolute tool box,” according to the...

Supreme Court dismisses gag order appeal in Dulos case

Supreme Court dismisses gag order appeal in Dulos case

- Hartford Courant
The state Supreme Court has dismissed the appeal by Fotis Dulos’ attorney to overturn the sweeping gag order imposed on lawyers, law enforcement and even potential witnesses involved in the high-profile case.
The court issued an order late Wednesday with no explanation as to why it was dismissing it. Both Dulos’ attorney Norm Pattis and The Courant had filed briefs asking the court to make a ruling on the gag order even though Dulos is now dead.
Pattis said Thursday he...

Fotis Dulos leaves jail after posting bond, judge orders him under house arrest

Fotis Dulos leaves jail after posting bond, judge orders him under house arrest

- Hartford Courant
Fotis Dulos, arrested and charged Tuesday with the kidnapping and murder of his estranged wife Jennifer Farber Dulos, was released from jail Thursday after posting a $6 million bond following hours of legal wrangling and assurances to insurance companies that he wouldn’t flee while awaiting trial.
Dulos, 52, of Farmington, left Stamford Superior Court at about 12:50 p.m., clad in a blue blazer, gray T-shirt and jeans. Dulos made no comment and answered no questions as he left the...

Supreme Court justices raise questions about gag order in Fotis Dulos case during emergency hearing

Supreme Court justices raise questions about gag order in Fotis Dulos case during emergency hearing

- Hartford Courant
Several state Supreme Court justices questioned the gag order implemented in the on-going case of the disappearance of Jennifer Farber Dulos Thursday, hinting that the state’s jury selection process weeds out potential bias and any impact that pre-trial publicity can have even on a high-profile case like this one.
“What’s the prejudice the state sees here even with extensive publicity?” Justice Stephen Ecker said. “What evidence has there ever been in...

State drops charges against Christopher Dukes, former CCSU official accused of assaulting wife, holding police at bay

State drops charges against Christopher Dukes, former CCSU official accused of assaulting wife, holding police at bay

- Hartford Courant
A state prosecutor on Thursday dropped all criminal charges against Christopher Dukes, a former Central Connecticut State University official who Hartford police had accused of kidnapping and assaulting his wife during an incident in April 2018.
Prosecutor Vicki Melchiorre said she was dropping the charges because the victim does not want Dukes to go to jail for the sake of their children. His lawyer, Norm Pattis, had filed a speedy trial motion and the case was called in for trial on...

Supreme Court sets December date for gag order hearing in Dulos case

Supreme Court sets December date for gag order hearing in Dulos case

- Hartford Courant
Arguments on a gag order requested by a prosecutor overseeing the investigation of missing New Canaan mother Jennifer Farber Dulos will be heard Dec. 12 at the state Supreme Court.
Stamford-Norwalk State’s Attorney Richard Colangelo asked for the gag order citing concerns about public comments made by Norm Pattis, the lawyer for Farber Dulos’ estranged husband, Fotis Dulos, who faces charges in connection with her disappearance in May.
A Superior Court judge issued the...

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