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DEC 16 - DEC 24, 2014

Beth Ceretto Joins Walker in Not Filing Disclosure Reports

December 16, 2014

Lewiston Councilwoman-elect Beth Ceretto was taken to task for not filing her campaign disclosure forms.

Last week, the Niagara Gazette published a story about Lewiston's councilwoman elect, Beth Ceretto, a member of the Independence Party, who is closely aligned with Republicans - she is thewife of Republican Assemblyman John Ceretto –citing her failure to file her election finance reports with the New York State Board of Elections.

Niagara County Democratic Chairman Nick Forster chose to weigh in, essentially criticizing her: "I would tend to think it's very embarrassing not to file," Forster told the Gazette. "Itraises questions of impropriety if you don't follow the guidelines. That's why most people do."

Forster however failed to mention one of his own - Niagara Falls Councilmember Charles Walker, who, unlike Beth Ceretto, is not a few months late, but two years late in filing his reports.Walker was re-elected in 2013.

Ironically Ceretto used the same excuse Walker used: she delegated the job to a friend. In her case, Charles Stojak, who purportedly handles her finances, and an electronic process thatconfused them.

Walker also blamed his "campaign treasurer," Isaac Williams, who, Walker said, was unable to learn how to file the simple reports online.

Walker's allegedly computer illiterate treasurer, the Reporter learned, taught computer courses and is an information technology expert at Unifrax Corporation.

Williams later told the Reporter that he was not Walker's treasurer and that the councilman lied.

By failing to file disclosure forms, Walker and Ceretto are in violation of New York State election law. Failure to file could result in penalties being assessed. According to New York StateElection Law 14-126 (1) "Any candidate who willfully and knowingly fails to file required forms can be fined $1000 per failure."

In addition (EL 14-126 (4) provides that any candidate or his treasurer can be charged with a misdemeanor.

Back in July, when questioned by the Niagara Gazette, Walker said he was going "to sit down this week or next week to get that figured out."

Five months later he has neither sat down nor filed.

Back in the fall of 2013, when questioned by the Buffalo News why he was the only council candidate who did not file election filings during the 2013 campaign season, Walker told the News,"he would check with the two people helping to manage his campaign about the unfiled paperwork."

More than a year has passed since he told that one to the News.

Walker has been a councilman for 17 years. Internet records suggest he has not filed disclosure forms for more than a decade.

Ceretto told the Gazette she is pursuing the matter of filing adding, "I'm going to have someone else complete it for me."

Walker, who refuses to talk to the Reporter, continues to flaunt the law.

Councilman Charles Walker refuses to let the public know who contributed to his reelection campaign.






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Contact Info

©2014 The Niagara Falls Reporter Inc.
POB 3083, Niagara Falls, N.Y. 14304
Phone: (716) 284-5595

Publisher and Editor in Chief: Frank Parlato
Managing Editor: Dr. Chitra Selvaraj
Senior Editor: Tony Farina