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What you need to know for 08/17/2017

Builder drawn into Halfmoon political scandal

Builder drawn into Halfmoon political scandal

Prominent Saratoga County developer Bruce Tanski allegedly used six straw donors to funnel $6,000 in

Prominent Saratoga County developer Bruce Tanski allegedly used six straw donors to funnel $6,000 in donations to former Halfmoon town Supervisor Mindy Wormuth’s campaign, according to the state Attorney General’s Office.

Tanski was charged Friday with one felony count of offering a false instrument for filing, as well as a number of misdemeanor election law violations. Katina Fogarty of Colonie and Nicholas DiNova Jr. of Halfmoon, alleged straw donors, were also arrested, according to an indictment handed up by a grand jury Aug. 13 and unsealed Friday morning in Saratoga County Court.

“Public corruption undermines faith in government, and that is why I have made cracking down on public corruption a top priority,” state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said in a statement released after Tanski’s court appearance Friday morning.

Tanski is accused of evading campaign contribution limits with contributions of $1,000 to Wormuth’s campaign allegedly made via DiNova’s and Fogarty’s personal accounts, according to Schneiderman’s office.

All three charged in the case were released without bail.

“Individuals who seek to circumvent election laws undermine the entire election process, thus denying a level playing field for all candidates,” said Andrew Vale, a special agent with the Albany division of the FBI, which investigated the case.

William Dreyer, Tanski’s attorney, could not be reached for comment.

Wormuth was accused last year of influence peddling as well as taking thousands of dollars given to her campaign for her personal use. She resigned last November and is scheduled to go on trial this fall.

Tanski gave six people $1,000 each to donate to Wormuth’s campaign between March and July 2013, according to the indictment. The individuals then wrote personal checks to Wormuth’s campaign, the indictment states.

Using those donors allowed Tanski to evade state election law, which imposes a $1,000 individual contribution limit, according to the Attorney General’s Office.

Another four individuals face charges in the case, but have not yet been arrested or identified.

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