Councilman Walker to answer in Court for Campaign Finance Violations

If you access the NYS Board of Elections website, click on “Campaign Finance” and then “View Disclosure Reports”, and type in “Charles Walker”, there’s sparse information indeed on City Councilman Charles Walker’s campaign finances over the years.

Serving on the city council since January of 1999, Walker is halfway through his fifth term. However, the only entries on the Board of Elections site consist of biannual July filings for the years 2009, 2010 and 2016, January filings for the years 2010, 2013 and 2016 and a little more complete data for 2013 in terms of general and primary election reports.

Of course, Walker ran active campaigns in 1998, 2002, 2006, 2010 and 2014, so his financial disclosure reports on the Board of Elections website should run as long as the phone book. Instead, the campaign filings of relatively new councilmembers Andy Touma and Ezra Scott, Jr. nearly eclipse those of Walker in terms of length and complexity.

Niagara Falls City Councilman Charles Walker

Niagara Falls City Councilman Charles Walker

What really sticks out, and incidentally, led to the four Class A Election Law Misdemeanors he is presently charged with, in addition to reams of missing entries for campaign contributions and expenditures, is the utter lack of information posted for 2009 and 2010, consisting simply of “No Activity” entries, as do the January, 2013 and July, 2016 filings. And the sole January, 2016 Contributor listed is none other than Charles Walker himself, who made six payments to his Friends of Charles Walker account ranging from $170 to $270 from August through December of 2015.

In other words, the requirement to file campaign disclosure reports, a bulwark of government accountability and necessary tool of democracy, going back nearly two decades was virtually totally ignored by Councilman Walker. Rather strange behavior for a guy who lists a Business Administration and Management degree from Bryant and Stratton on his resume’.

It was investigative reporting by this newspaper, cross-referencing campaign contributions that were listed on others’ disclosure reports, aided by attorney and election law specialist Peter A. Reese which led to a complaint (filed by Reese) with the state Board of Elections, leading to the councilman being charged.

Here is a list of contributions that should have, by law, been reported but were not (there may be more that haven’t been identified):

$500 August 15, 2013 Niagara County Democratic Committee
$750 Sept. 4, 2013 Niagara County Democratic Committee
$1,000 October 19, 2013 Niagara County Democratic Committee
$500 October 21, 2009 Niagara Falls Fire Officers PAC
$200 April 30, 2013 Niagara Falls Fire Officers PAC
$1,400 October 18, 2005 Niagara Falls Firefighters PAC
$140 June 11, 2009 Niagara Falls Firefighters PAC
$70 August 12, 2009 Niagara Falls Firefighters PAC
$790 Sept 10, 2009 Niagara Falls Firefighters PAC
$350 October 10, 2009 Niagara Falls firefighters PAC
$650 October 27, 2009 Niagara Falls Firefighters PAC
$1,400 October 18, 2005 Niagara Falls Firefighters PAC
$300 August 11, 2009 IUOE Local 463 State and Local PAC
$1,000 Sept. 10, 2013 IUOE Local 463 State and Local PAC
$100 July 28, 2004 Committee to Elect Robert Anderson
$100 August 5, 2004 Committee to Elect Byron Brown
$50 October 22, 2005 Friends for DelMonte
$300 June 11, 2009 Friends of Paul Dyster
$50 June 17, 2009 Committee to elect Robert Anderson
$250 August 6, 2009 UA Plumbers and Steamfitters Local No 22 PAC
$35 August 9, 2009 Friends of Dennis Virtuoso
$35 August 9, 2009 Friends of Sam Fruscione
$500 August 12, 2009 Friends of Antoine Thompson
$500 August 24, 2009 Laborers Local 91 PAC
$100 August 25, 2009 Bricklayers Allied Craft Workers Local 3 Buffalo Chapter PAC
$500 Sept. 8, 2009 Supporters of Antoine Thompson
$200 October 6, 2009 Friends of Dennis Virtuoso
$400 October 6, 2009 Laborers Local 91 PAC
$200 October 16, 2009 Friends of Paul Dyster
$650 October 30, 2009 Friends of Paul Dyster
$100 August 29, 2013 Friends of Paul Dyster
$100 August 30, 2013 Friends of Dennis Virtuoso
$500 October 3, 2013 UA Plumbers and Steamfitters Local No 22 PAC
$100 October 5, 2013 Friends of Dennis Virtuoso
$1,000 October 8, 2013 Northeastern Regional Council of Carpenters PAC
$70 October 10, 2013 Friends of Jason Zona
$100 October 10, 2013 Friends of Paul Dyster


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  2. Tom Winegarden, retired, NFPD says:

    Niagara Falls Firefighters? Over $5,000, could they be looking for something in return? Police and Fire should stay out of POLITICS.

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