State Senator Carl Kruger is one of at least 10 elected officials that have been using their their campaign accounts as legal slush funds.
Kruger broke open his $2.6 million campaign piggybank to shell out $210,000 to pay lawyers aiding him in his federal corruption probe, according to fundraising records.
“Defending a public official against unwarranted allegations can be very time consuming,” Kruger’s lawyer Benjamin Brafman told the Daily News. “It is unfortunate that Sen. Kruger had to retain counsel to defend against charges that were in truth brought against others and not him.”
According to the Daily News, a slew of other embattled politicians have also dipped into campaign funds. Governor Paterson has paid out $1 million to his lawyers, while Bronx State Senator Pedro Espada used $15,000. Senate Majority whip Kevin Parker and Senate President Malcolm Smith also used their campaign funds to fuel their ongoing legal fights.
“It’s ridiculous,” NYPIRG’s Blair Horner told the Daily News. “There’s no better example of what a disgrace New York’s campaign finance system is than that it’s become a legal defense fund.”