After spending nearly two weeks in jail, former NEIU 19 Executive Director Fred Rosetti is now free.
Rosetti is facing federal corruption charges and was tossed in jail last month for speaking to potential witnesses and violating his bail conditions. Wednesday in federal court, a judge decided to release him.
Fred Rosetti will be on house arrest until his scheduled trial later this year. He showed up to federal court in Scranton Wednesday morning in shackles. He admitted to breaking the rules and speaking with potential witnesses in his case but said he didn’t think he was doing anything wrong.
Federal prosecutors had hoped that Rosetti would be behind bars until his trail, which is scheduled for November. Prosecutors accused him of witness tampering and he was sent to Lackawanna County jail last month. A federal judge ruled that was too harsh and released Rosetti without bail.
Rosetti showed up the federal courthouse in Scranton in shackles to tell his side of the story. He admitted violating his release by talking to a friend and a former employee who are potential witnesses in his case. Those potential witnesses told judge about their contact with Rosetti.
“They were very careful, choosing their words carefully. They didn’t want to, what’s the word I’m looking for, incriminate him any more than he already has,” said former NEIU employee Frank Koczwara.
He is another one of Rosetti’s former employees. He sat in court to hear Rosetti on the stand. Rosetti admitted to talking with a current NEIU employee, James Lodovici, asking him if he had heard anything about the investigation.
Federal prosecutor Michelle Olshefki said incident showed Rosetti should stay behind bars, saying, “It’s no coincidence that he reached out to Mr. Lodovici, a current employee of the NEIU. That’s how he carried out his crimes, this undue influence on his employees.”
In the end, the judge ruled to release Rosetti and put him on house arrest until his trial
“Because he didn’t intentionally see a witness. The rabbit in the hat is who are the witnesses here. No witness list was provided. It was requested but not provided,” said defense attorney Bill DeStefano.