HARTFORD – A West Hartford attorney, charged with stealing more than $250,000 from a political campaign committee, appeared before a judge Friday.
Michael Cronin allegedly stole those hundreds of thousands of dollars from the Senate Republican Campaign Committee, which he oversaw as treasurer, according to police. Cronin now faces one count of larceny in the first degree, which is punishable by at least one year and up to 20 years in prison, as well as up to a $15,000 fine.
According to a police report, Cronin stole more than $250,000 between 2012 and 2018 “to maintain his lifestyle and pay his personal bills, including living expenses.” Documents show he used the money to pay bills, support his three children, pay off his ex-wife’s $50,000 credit card debt, purchase an engagement ring and fund his new wife’s apartment.
“Mike’s been cooperating from the beginning of this process,” said Mike Chase, Cronin’s attorney. “Today is just another step in that process and he’ll continue to do so.”
“Mike wants to make sure everything gets paid back,” he said.
When asked if his client is prepared for the possibility of prison time, Chase said, “thank you,” and walked away.
Cronin frequently asked family members for financial help, according to the police report, and “two years ago, he approached his father and requested his help with paying the money back.”
The report states Cronin also asked his sister for money, and she told police that he “…began asking for money back in the 1990s and he would ask for money to cover the cost of his engagement ring and an addition to his house.”
“I told him he had to turn himself in,” said Senate Republican leader Len Fasano.
Fasano became emotional last week when asked about the case.
“He had great relationships for 20 years in this building,” Fasano said. “Someone a lot of us considered a friend.”
Fasano said he had no comment about Friday’s arraignment.
Cronin appears in court again on March 15.