Brooklyn Boro

Brooklyn City Council candidates among those fined for campaign finance violations

April 15, 2016 By Mary Frost Brooklyn Daily Eagle
City Councilmember Laurie Cumbo (District 35), is one of ten 2013 candidates fined by the city’s Campaign Finance Board for campaign violations. She was fined $9,279. AP Photo/Seth Wenig
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The New York City Campaign Finance Board has fined 10 candidates who ran in citywide elections in 2013 for campaign finance violations, the board announced on Thursday.

The violations range from failing to provide bank statements to late disclosures to accepting contributions from corporations.

Five of the candidates ran for Brooklyn seats in the City Council. In addition, Sidique Wai, a Brooklyn resident who ran for the position of Public Advocate (losing to Letitia James) was also determined to have committed violations.

The Brooklyn candidates named include Robert Cornegy Jr., in District 36; Laurie Cumbo, District 35; Mathieu Eugene, District 40; Sara Gonzalez, District 38 and Erlene King, District 45.

Cornegy was cited for filing a late disclosure statement, failing to provide bank statements, accepting a contribution for a corporation, making “impermissible” post-election expenditures and other infractions. He was fined $1,550.

Cumbo was accused of accepting contributions from corporations or similar businesses, failing to document transactions, exceeding the contribution and expenditure limit and more. She was fined $9,279.

Eugene was determined to have failed to provide bank statements and accepting over-the-limit donations. He was fined $4,221.

Gonzalez, who lost to Carlos Menchaca, was fined $806 for failing to report transactions, accepting over-the-limit contributions, accepting contributions from unregistered political committees and more.

King, who lost to Jumaane Williams, was fined $2,907 for filing late, failing to report cash receipts and documentation, failing to provide merchant account statements and more. She was fined $2,907.

Wai was fined $5,856 in the campaign for public advocate for accepting over-the-limit contributions, accepting contributions from corporations, converting campaign funds to a personal use and more.

Candidates from other boroughs assessed fines include Carlton Berkley, District 16; Miguel Estrella, District 10; Alan Gerson, District 1; Constantinos Prentzas, District 22; and James Van Bramer, District 26.

The highest fines announced on Friday were imposed on Gerson, a City Council candidate in 2009. Gerson was fined $49,948 for infractions ranging from accepting over-the-limit contributions, exceeding the expenditure limit and failing to properly report and account for loans and loan repayments.

In January, City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito agreed to pay $7,000 to settle charges of campaign finance violations.

The Campaign Finance Board was created with the mission of reducing the influence of large private contributions in the political process. The board runs a program which provides matching funds to qualifying candidates running for important offices in the city.


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