Developer Bruce Tanski was handed three years on probation and 200 hours of community service — work he is already performing with a charity operated by his company — for admitting he used straw donors to exceed the state’s campaign contribution limits.
Tanski, 68, did not make any statement in Saratoga County Court before visiting Judge Matthew Sypniewski issued a sentence Monday in accordance with a plea agreement the prolific Halfmoon developer reached with prosecutors from the state Attorney General’s Office. In addition to the probation and community service, Tanski was also ordered to pay a $1,200 in fines.
Ushered out of the courthouse by defense attorney William Dreyer, Tanski also declined to discuss the resolution or his community service and deferred comment to his lawyer. Dreyer said settlement “speaks for itself.”
“It’s a settlement which Mr. Tanski accepted and from that standpoint it’s fair and gets the case disposed of,” he said.
Tanski has already been performing the community service part of his sentence, Sypniewski acknowledged during the proceeding. Court documents reflect that the developer has been working with Tearing Up the Turf for Timothy and his Friends with Down Syndrome, a non-profit charity that raises money for the Down Syndrome Aim High Resource Center Reading Tutorial program.
Tanski is listed as a member of the charity’s Board of Directors and his daughter, Andrea, is listed as president of the organization, which is linked to Bruce Tanski Construction & Development. Katina Fogarty, one of two straw donors Tanski used to exceed state campaign contribution limits, is listed as a contact for the tournament hosted by Fairways of Halfmoon –the golf course Tanski owns.
Tanski was involved in a 2013 scandal that caused Halfmoon Supervisor Mindy Wormuth to resign. On April 2, 2013, he admitted using another person to contribute $1,000 of his own money to Friends of Mindy Wormuth.
At the time, Wormuth had lost the support of the town Republican Committee, but was planning to still run for re-election. She later abandoned those plans. Tanski was indicted on charges of using false donors during 2013 to funnel $6,000 in contributions to Wormuth’s re-election campaign, including a felony charge of filing a false business record. He allegedly used six “straw donors” to funnel separate $1,000 contributions to Wormuth’s campaign, having already contributed as much as he was legally allowed. State and federal law enforcement have been probing Halfmoon politics for nearly three years, though Wormuth and Tanski and two alleged straw donors are the only people to face charges. Those donors —Fogarty and Nicholas Dinova Jr. —were also arrested in the case, but had their charges conditionally dropped provided they complete 40 hours of community.
When asked if he is ready to but the case behind him, Tanski quickly answered: “Absolutely. Move on,” he said walking out of court. “I’m just glad it’s over.”
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