Gentile Violated Campaign Finance Law

(source: Brooklyn Graphic via Brooklyn Daily)

Newscorp website Brooklyn Daily is reporting that Councilman Vincent Gentile broke city campaign finance rules by spending too much on his 2009 reelection campaign. The Campaign Finance Board, which made the ruling on Thursday, fined Gentile just under $26,000.

The board censured the councilman for agreeing not to spend over $161,000 in his reelection bid against Bob Capano in exchange for $88,550 of public matching funds – then allegedly going $18,000 over budget.

From Brooklyn Daily:

“Exceeding the expenditure limit is one of the most serious violations … and undermines the purpose of the Campaign Finance Program,” the board wrote in its ruling.
Gentile was also hit with $1,025 in fines for a litany of other city campaign financing abuses, including accepting corporate contributions, over-the-limit contributions, and failure to report daily pre-election expenditures.

Gentile chalked up the overspending to an accounting error, saying that he respected the board’s decision and would pay the fine. His lawyer Robert Bishop attributed the campaign’s fuzzy math to a campaign worker who mistakenly used the wrong numbers while adding up the cost of a fundraiser.

“We’re dealing with someone who is a civil servant; he’s not rich or wealthy,” Bishop told the board.

After his defeat in the race against Gentile, opponent Bob Capano, who had raised $45,000, left politics to manage a supermarket. That changed recently when newly sworn in Rep. Bob Turner, who represents Anthony Weiner’s old Congressional district in Sheepshead Bay, hired Capano as his district director.