Sen. Paul Doyle Exploring For CT Attorney General

Longtime state Sen. Paul Doyle, a key player in this year’s budget battles, is exploring a run for attorney general.

A fiscal conservative, Doyle was among three members in the Senate Democratic caucus to vote in favor of a Republican-written bill in September. That bill was vetoed by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, but it changed the dynamics and power structure at the state Capitol in the budget talks.

After the veto, the legislature came together on a bipartisan basis to pass a budget without Malloy’s input — marking the first time in more than 35 years that a Connecticut governor had not signed off on the final aspects of the budget.

Doyle, 54, graduated from the University of Connecticut law school and has spent 26 years practicing law, including probate, civil, and criminal cases. He is seeking to fill the seat left by departing Attorney General George Jepsen, whose term expires in January 2019. Doyle will face former federal prosecutor Chris Mattei of Hartford, state Rep. William Tong of Stamford, and others who may jump into the race.

In an encounter similar to a chase scene out of an action-packed Matt Damon movie in 2015, Doyle gained publicity by foiling a bank robbery in progress.

A longtime attorney whose work often brings him to the bank, Doyle was in an office at Webster Bank in Rocky Hill when he heard a scream by a woman who said that a man had stolen her money.

Without thinking twice, Doyle, an accomplished track runner from his days at Colby College in Maine, cut across the lobby, burst through the bank doors and started chasing the man across busy, five-lane Cromwell Avenue. Running in a steady rain, crossing the street and then heading down an alley, Doyle reflexively blurted out, "Drop it!"

Doyle had no idea that the fleeing man, Christopher Lunn, had an extensive criminal history. He was charged previously with trying to run down five police officers on Cape Cod with a stolen construction excavator that ended only when police fired a bean bag that hit the side of his head, police said. And 15 days before the Rocky Hill bank robbery, Lunn allegedly robbed the same bank. Other previous arrests include charges of burglary, driving to endanger and breaking and entering, officials said.

During the chase, Lunn eventually threw the money into the air and escaped. Doyle collected the money on the ground as Lunn disappeared.

Police, however, eventually arrested Lunn on a warrant in his home state of Massachusetts. It took police seven months to arrest Lunn after no one immediately recognized him on the surveillance camera photographs — because he never lived in the Rocky Hill area.

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