Second West Haven official arrested amid investigation into misused COVID-19 funds
A second West Haven official has been arrested amid an investigation into the misuse of hundreds of thousands of dollars in COVID-19 relief funds.
John Bernardo of West Haven was arrested this morning on a federal criminal complaint, the spokesperson for the U.S. attorney's office says.
Bernardo appeared before U.S. District Judge Robert M. Spector in New Haven charged with wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud in connection with the West Haven COVID-19 funds case. He posted bail at $250,000.
Bernardo is also listed as the co-owner of a shell company allegedly created to deposit funds billed to West Haven for COVID-19-related expenses.
Bernardo is also former State Rep Mike DiMassa's business partner.
Prosecutors say DiMassa and Bernardo created a shell company to bill the city of West Haven out of $636,000 for COVID-19-related expenses.
Arrest paperwork alleges that Bernardo personally pocketed $45,000 from in CARES Act funds.
A complaint also reveals that DiMassa allegedly deposited $32,000 into his own personal bank account.
The complaint also says Bernardo is currently on administrative leave from his position at the West Haven Community Development Administration.