After assistant state's attorney Linda Howe threatened me with prosecution if I sent out any more news releases on the Pullman and Comley law firm lawyers James T. Shearin and Timothy A. Bishop's theft of my property of nearly $6,000.00 of medical films required for an operation, I sent a letter about the threat to the then Fairfield County State's Attorney Donald Browne. I ended it with, "in case you want to do anything about it [the threat and related growing cover-up of the theft]." After not hearing anything from Donald Browne or anyone else with his office, I made out a criminal complaint against Linda Howe for threatening with the Bridgeport Police Department. When I made out the complaint, a detective supervisor at the Bridgeport P.D. said they would send the complaint to the Fairfield County State's Attorney's office.
While all this was going on, Donald Browne was in his last days as Fairfield County State's Attorney. I learned about this when one time I was at the courthouse I saw a notice about a farewell dinner for him. I figured it wasn't a good time to be trying to get in touch with him about Linda Howe's threat and the cover-up going on in his office. Within another couple of months, Browne was replaced by Jonathan Benedict.
A few weeks after Benedict took over, I called the state's attorneys office to follow up on the criminal complaint I had made against Linda Howe. I told the receptionist answering the phone why I was calling; and said Jonathan Benedict would probably be the one to talk with about any matters concerning the criminal complaint. The receptionist put me on hold. When she got back on the line, she told me that Jonathan Benedict had sent the complaint to the Criminal Justice Commission.
I didn't inquire what the Criminal Justice Commission was, or why the complaint would have been sent to it. I found out what it was by referring to the volumes of Connecticut statutes. The Criminal Justice Commission was a body of high-ranking individuals in the Connecticut state legal system for investigating alleged criminal conduct of state legal officials and meting out appropriate punishment to ones found guilty of such conduct. At the time, it was headed by the Connecticut Supreme Court judge Francis M. MacDonald, Jr. (The judge would later become the Chief Justice of the Connecticut Supreme Court.) As the head of the Criminal Justice Commission, judge MacDonald worked with the Chief State's Attorney (who was John Bailey at the time) in space provided by the Chief State's Attorney's office.
Within a few days, I called the Chief State's Attorney's office to find out if the criminal complaint had been sent to the Criminal Justice Commission. I was connected with a Tim Sugrue; whom I assumed was a lower-level state's attorney. (I have since seen him named as an assistant state's attorney in some case mentioned in a newspaper article.) I told Tim Sugrue that I was calling to get a confirmation that the criminal complaint--which I identified specifically--had been sent to the Criminal Justice Commission. In response to questions from him, I told him how it came to be that my criminal complaint was being sent to the Criminal Justice Commission.
About every three weeks, I called the Chief State's Attorney's office and spoke briefly with TTim Sugrue to see that everything was going along as it was supposed to and if the Commission needed anything from me. Every time I spoke with him, he told me everything was going along as it was supposed to and there was nothing I had to be doing. I would be hearing from the Commission in due course, he always said.
About four months after I was told by the receptionist in the Fairfield County State's Attorney's office that Jonathan Benedict had sent my criminal complaint on Linda Howe to the Criminal Justice Commission, I received a letter from the Commission. Its name and address were in the return address space in the upper left corner of the envelope. The one-page typed lettter was from judge Francis M. MacDonald, Jr.
In his letter, the judge explained that the matter brought to the Criminal Justice Commission's attention concerning Fairfield County assistant state's attorney Linda Howe was not a matter for the Commission to look into further because upon review of Linda Howe's letter to me, no evidence of wrongdoing had been found. Judge MacDonald closed his letter by saying I should get in touch with the Fairfield County State's Attorney's office if I wished to pursue the matter.
Linda Howe's letter to me? No mention of the criminal complaint Jonathan Benedict had told me through his receptionist he was sending to the Criminal Justice Commission and Tim Sugrue assured me had been received by the Chief State's Attorney's office and given to the Commission. My criminal complaint on Linda Howe's threatening me, not her letter to me of her sophistic reading of my complaint against the Pullman and Comley attorneys, was the fundamental of the issues I was raising about how she and other state attorneys were involved in the cover-up of the theft of my medical films. Jonathan Benedict with the complicity of the Chief State's Attorney's office had switched evidence. The state's attorneys had suckered Connecticut Supreme Court justice Francis MacDonald.
I tried to get in touch with judge Francis MacDonald at his office in Waterbury and the Supreme Court in Hartford to let him know what had happened. I sent letters and faxes and made phone calls, once speaking with the secretary in the judge's Waterbury office. I never did get any information on whether judge MacDonald had been informed that he had been suckered by the state's attorneys. I did though in some subsequent newsletters refer to Jonathan Benedict's involvement in this suckering of the Supreme Court judge as another instance his and other state's attorneys' systematic, determined abuse of the legal system.
- Henry Berry
- For over 20 years, I've been active in the field of finding, evaluating, purchasing, researching, and marketing notable ephemera of historical, cultural, literary, and biographical interest. My interest in and knowledge of ephemera grew out of my many years of self-employed in the interrelated fields of publishing and writing. I have done work as a ghostwriter, book reviewer, freelance editor, writer, publicist, creative writing teacher, publisher, literary agent, and consultant for authors and small, entrepreneurial publishers. In the 1980s, I did a monthly news and marketing column for the newsletter of the small-press association COSMEP. I have degrees in philosophy and English from Fairfield University and Georgetown University.