Another ex-con voted into office in Bridgeport

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BRIDGEPORT --  Another ex-con is receiving a second chance to serve the city of Bridgeport. But, it's possible, he could might soon need a third chance.

Two years ago, Joseph Ganim (D Bridgeport) was re-elected to the Mayor's office despite having spent seven years in prison. And, Tuesday night, it was former state senator Ernie Newton's turn to head back to his political roots.

Newton, who was convicted of corruption when he was a state senator in 2005, will once again be spending a lot of time with the City Hall council chambers.

At City Hall Wednesday morning, Newton was making certain he would get off to a positive start heading into his second stint as a City Councilman.

He visited the city Clerk's office, requesting a copy of the city charter and Council by laws.

He served 4 1/2 years in prison for his first conviction, but Newton is now appealing another conviction related to his run for state office in 2012.

"The charges were civil things that normally would be handled by the SEEC," said Newton. "They wanted to make it criminal."

He is so thankful for his new lease on life that he is now working with a company to place other ex-cons into the workforce.

"We did a job fair where over 200 returning citizens came," said Newton "They had resumes. They were dressed to impress. And 90 percent of companies hired some."

One such man who believes in Ernie Newton and second chances: his barber.

"Me being in and out of prison for 20 years, opening up in 2004, getting my barbers license. I never looked back," said Neal McGee, of Kingdom Cutters.

If his appeal of the campaign finance convictions fails, Newton could spend up to six months in prison.