State Senator Marty Golden has plundered at least $31,000 from his campaign warchest to pay off legal debts stemming from a federal investigation into his finances, reports the Daily News.
The paper looked at recent campaign filings showing that the pol paid fees to attorneys at Gottlieb & Gordon LLP.
Golden confirmed [U.S. Attorney Preet] Bharara is looking into his his campaign finances. He said he has not met with investigators, but his lawyers have sent paperwork to them.
The veteran senator said future filings will show additional payments from his campaign fund to his lawyers, but insisted that “it won’t be much.”
Such use of campaign funds is entirely legal, though good government groups have called for an end to the practice. More than $7 million in campaign donations have been used by some 20 different pols for legal defense bills since 2004, according to NYPIRG. Former Sheepshead Bay State Senator Carl Kruger spent the most at $1.7 million; he is now in prison for bribery.
A bill introduced last year would curb the use of campaign spending for legal bills, though it doesn’t appear that it would affect Golden if it had passed. The bill only limits those who have been charged with violating state or federal law; Golden is only being investigated at this time.
It’s not yet clear what Bharara’s office is looking into regarding Senator Golden’s finances. Bharara picked up several of the cases Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Moreland Commission was investigating before it was disbanded. One of those cases include the multi-million dollar tax breaks given to luxury developers in Manhattan, including a $44 million waiver to Extell Development. The commission sent subpoenas to those developers in 2013. Golden sponsored the legislation in the Senate, and pleaded ignorance when asked about it.
Some have also speculated that they could be eyeing the $541,599 the pol steered to the Bay Ridge Manor, a catering hall he once owned and is now owned by his brother.