Albany County District Legal professional David Soares and the state Board of Elections are shifting ahead with an investigation into alleged elections fraud involving the trouble to get Republican nominee for governor Rep. Lee Zeldin on a third-party line on ballots for the Nov. 8 basic election towards Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul.
On the middle of the probe is ex-con John Haggerty Jr. — who went to jail for ripping off former New York Metropolis Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s marketing campaign. Haggerty was reportedly the important thing participant within the effort to secure the Independence Party line for Zeldin, a Lengthy Island congressman.
Haggerty is alleged to have used 11,000 photocopied signatures to satisfy the 45,000-name threshold to get Zeldin the extra occasion line, the Times Union revealed Sunday.
“Nothing might’ve gone out the door with out his information,” an nameless GOP supply advised the upstate newspaper.
Zeldin’s marketing campaign was not concerned in submitting the photocopied signatures.
Haggerty spent greater than a 12 months within the slammer after he was convicted of cash laundering and grand larceny for stealing about $750,000 from the 2009 reelection marketing campaign of New York Metropolis Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
After leaving jail, Haggerty labored for Donald Trump throughout his 2016 presidential marketing campaign with the blessing of right-wing New York firebrand Carl Paladino.
A spokeswoman for state GOP Chairman Nick Langworthy – who has beforehand mentioned the Zeldin marketing campaign and state occasion are “absolutely built-in every day” – blasted the probe as politically motivated.
“That is all an try and distract from Kathy Hochul’s corrupt scheme that gave a $637 million no-bid contract to her prime donor the place she paid double the worth for COVID exams to get $300,000 in kickbacks to her marketing campaign. She is just not solely dealing with unemployment from the voters this November, however she ought to be prosecuted,” mentioned spokeswoman Jessica Proud.
Zeldin, in the meantime, stayed quiet concerning the revelations surrounding potential prison habits by his political allies.
“Nothing else so as to add,” Zeldin mentioned.
“I’m not going into hypotheticals,” Zeldin mentioned when requested whether or not he stood by Haggerty as he faces potential prison fees over the alleged poll fraud.
Democrats try to leverage the difficulty towards Zeldin forward of the Nov. 8 election, particularly contemplating how Zeldin marketing campaign supervisor Eric Amidon is listed 47 instances on the petition as a go-to contact relating to any points with the Elections Board.
“As a congressman, Lee Zeldin supported authorized efforts to overturn the 2020 election and pushed baseless conspiracy theories underneath the banner of ‘election integrity,’ however apparently that doesn’t apply to his personal marketing campaign,” Hochul marketing campaign supervisor Brian Lenzmeier mentioned in an announcement.
The BOE and Soares didn’t reply to requests for remark.