Former GOP mayoral candidate pleads guilty to Jan. 6-related charge

A former mayoral candidate in Connecticut has pleaded guilty to a charge related to the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, according to a Friday court filing.

Gino DiGiovanni Jr., a Republican who unsuccessfully ran for mayor of Derby last year, previously reached a plea deal with prosecutors involving a misdemeanor charge. He officially pleaded guilty when he signed and submitted an acknowledgment of his actions.

DiGiovanni previously served as an alderman, an elected position.

Derby, CT alderman and mayoral candidate Gino DiGiovanni, Jr.  and his attorney Martin Minnella appear outside New Haven federal court after DiGiovanni Jr.’s first appearance before a judge in connection with his Tuesday arrest on January 6th charges.”
Derby, Conn., alderman and mayoral candidate Gino DiGiovanni Jr., right, and his attorney Martin Minnella appear outside federal court in New Haven, Conn., in 2023.David Mulligan / NBC News

As part of his guilty plea, DiGiovanni agreed to a charge of entering and remaining on restricted grounds.

“Specifically, the defendant admits that he knowingly entered and remained in a restricted building, that is, the U.S. Capitol Building, without lawful authority to do so,” said a statement of offense that DiGiovanni affirmed was accurate.

DiGiovanni’s attorney, Martin Minnella, did not immediately respond to a request for comment Friday night, but had previously told NBC News that he expected his client to get a fine and probation, a typical sentence for Jan. 6 defendants who plead guilty to a misdemeanor, show remorse and do not have a significant criminal record.

“Gino was there just to express his views. He didn’t do any damage,” Minnella told NBC News in December. “It’s an infraction, it’s a misdemeanor.”

DiGiovanni is set to be sentenced in April.

A Justice Department spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment Friday evening.

DiGiovanni acknowledged to an NBC Connecticut reporter in October 2022 that he was in the Capitol on Jan. 6 after the reporter confronted the then-alderman with pictures of him on the day of the riot.

“Yeah, I was there,” DiGiovanni told NBC Connecticut. “And obviously, you got the pictures to prove it. … I was there, I went inside there, and, you know, I didn’t damage or break anything.”

More than 1,265 defendants have been arrested on Jan. 6-related charges, according to the Department of Justice. DiGiovanni is now one of more than 700 defendants who have pleaded guilty to federal charges pertaining to the riot.