Former State Senator Can't Change Mind on Guilty Plea

Thursday, Apr 8, 2010  |  Updated 5:00 PM EDT
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Former State Senator Can't Change Mind on Guilty Plea

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Federal corruption trial of Shelton developer begins in New Haven.

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A federal judge has rejected former New York state Sen. Efrain Gonzalez Jr.'s effort to withdraw his guilty plea to federal fraud charges as "preposterous."

Judge William Pauley said Thursday that Gonzalez's attempt to change his plea to charges he used charity groups to finance his lifestyle with $600,000 in stolen money was an effort to undermine the integrity of the judicial process.

The Manhattan judge said the notion that the free will of a longtime state senator was overridden by the imminence of trial, coercion by his attorney or pressure from the court was "preposterous."

The 61-year-old Bronx Democrat could receive seven to nine years in prison when he's sentenced May 14.

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