Greg Smith had an interesting story the other day about one of the City Council members who got campaign funds funneled to him by indicted labor leader, Brian McLaughlin.
According to the massive indictment [pdf] against McLaughlin, here’s how the plan worked: McLauglin got his friends and their wives to send $250 contributions which would qualify for the city’s 4-to-1 matching fund program. Then, McLaughlin reimbursed the donors from a union-controlled back account.
One Council member who said they unknowingly got money from this scheme was Tony Avella of Queens, who came out of the McLaughlin’s political club. But the indictment said there was a second Council member who – in all likelihood unknowingly – got contributions from this scheme too.
The contributions in question were made in the reporting period of 10/1/2005 and 01/12/2006. Thanks to the Campaign Finance Board’s website, you can search for $250 contributions for 2005 Council candidates during that time period.
Councilman James Gennaro, whose district overlaps with McLaughlin’s Assembly district, had 17 contributions that fit the search, but a lawyer for his campaign said Gennaro personally knows all those donors, and they’re not connected to McLaughlin in any way.
Tom White, whose campaign advisor (and my old boss) worked closely with McLaughlin, got ten $250 contributions during that time. Including one from the Central Labor Council PAC. White’s office said they would get back to me, and so far hasn’t.
One person floated Dennis Gallagher’s name, but he received 0 contributions that fit the description.
So, who is that other Council member?
— Azi Paybarah