A legislative clerk employed by Senate Democrats has a lengthy criminal history that hasn’t stopped him from working at the Capitol and on Democratic campaigns.
Angel Morales is the clerk for the general law committee. A spokesman for Senate Democrats confirmed that the caucus hired Morales and also confirmed his current assignment.
Before his assignment as committee clerk, Morales worked in a sessional position from March to June of 2012 earning $10.47 per hour, according to the Office of Legislative Management.
Senate Democrats hired Morales for the committee clerk position on Jan. 2, 2013, paying $34,894. In June, Morales received a $1,047 raise, or 3 percent.
On Jan. 2, 2014, Morales received another raise, $1,257, or about 3.5 percent.
According to the state’s campaign-finance database, Morales earned $1,200 from the 2012 campaigns of Rep. Minnie Gonzalez and $5,000 from Sen. John Fonfara, both Hartford Democrats.
Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra’s 2011 campaign paid Morales as a consultant. An election-day incident that year led to Morales paying a $200 fine for improperly entering a polling place. According to the complaint from the moderator at the polling place, Morales “shouted at me that ‘he was with the Mayor’s campaign and City Hall.’”
In 2010, Morales ran for state representative and lost in the primary. Police received a complaint that Morales “lured a 19-year-old mentally disabled man to his campaign headquarters and stripped to his boxer shorts,” according to the Courant, but the case was closed without any arrests.
In 2002, Morales pleaded guilty to illegal practice of law – he is not an attorney – and three different larceny charges. He was sentenced to 10 years in jail, suspended after four years, and five years of probation.
According to the Department of Correction, Morales completed parole in January 2007.
A 2001 complaint from Carmelo Rivera and Kathy Rivera-Rodriguez prompted the investigation of Morales, according to the arrest warrant affidavit. Rivera-Rodriguez faced an eight-year jail sentence for a kidnapping conviction. Rivera heard Morales could help people avoid jail, so he contacted Morales.
According to the affidavit, Morales told Rivera he knew “the right people in power” and could “handle her case.” Morales told Rivera he worked for a law firm and had run for public office.
“After negotiation, it was agreed upon that Mr. Rivera would pay Morales $15,000 if Kathy’s sentence was suspended in lieu of community service, and $5,000 if her sentence was reduced to one year incarceration,” the affidavit says.
Rivera paid Morales $2,000 up front, according to the affidavit.
“At one point, in an attempt to convince the increasingly skeptical Ms. Rivera as to his contacts, Morales placed cellular telephone calls to the voice mails of Judge Robert Devlin and Chief State’s Attorney John Bailey.
Morales used the terms “motions” and “pleadings” to describe documents he handled for Rivera- Rodriguez.
“On at least one occasion, Morales was paid by Ms. Rivera in the lobby of the law firm Pepe & Hazard, where Morales was employed at the time.”
According to the affidavit, Rivera paid Morales $7,000. The second payment of $2,500 was intended for “the people” involved including someone named “Carlson.”
“Later, Morales claimed he had just spoken to Judge Devlin and that if Mr. Rivera did not make another payment, ‘Kathy would go to jail,’” the affidavit says. “Eventually, when Mr. Rivera began questioning Morales as to where all of the money went, Morales threatened to ‘turn it around’ on us if they decided to make a complaint, saying they would be arrested for providing ‘bribe money.’”
The original two victims introduced investigators to two other victims.
Victor Perdomo paid Morales $1,000 to assist him with an immigration application, but Morales never filed it.
Miguel Carias faced a number of criminal charges when he paid Morales $500 to get his case dropped, including $250 up front. “Morales assured him he could be of help due to his familiarity with the judge and prosecutor at the New Britain courthouse,” the affidavit says. Morales didn’t show up at Carias’ next court date, despite his promise to be there.
The investigator at the time found Morales “has been arrested and convicted on eleven different occasions between 1988 and 1999 utilizing aliases and various dates of birth” by the Glastonbury, Hartford, New Britain, West Hartford and Wethersfield Police Departments and his prior convictions included larceny, issuing a bad check, probation violation and failure to appear.