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Post date: November 18 2015

A.G. Schneiderman and Chief Enforcement Counsel Sugarman Announce Arrest of Former New York State Assembly Candidate Michele Adolphe for Failure to File Campaign Finance Disclosure Reports With The New York State Board Of Elections

During 2014 Candidacy In Brooklyn District, Adolphe Failed To File Three Separate BOE Disclosure Reports Regarding Her Campaign’s Financial Activity

NEW YORK – Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman and Chief Enforcement Counsel Risa Sugarman today announced the arrest of former New York State Assembly Candidate Michele Adolphe for allegedly failing to file campaign finance disclosure reports with the New York State Board of Elections.  Ms. Adolphe was arrested after an investigation revealed Ms. Adolphe’s failure to disclose her campaign’s financial activity as required by New York State Election Law during her 2014 campaign for Assembly. Under these New York State laws, candidates are required to file periodic financial disclosure reports in order to provide accountability by candidates seeking public office and to provide transparency in the election process. 

“Knowingly and willfully failing to file campaign finance disclosure reports with the New York State Board of Elections is a crime,” said Attorney General Schneiderman. “My office will continue to work tirelessly to ensure that the public trust is not undercut by candidates for public office who fail to properly disclose their campaign’s financial activity.”

“Campaign finance disclosure ensures New Yorkers have confidence that their elected officials are serving them honestly and with transparency,” said New York State Board of Elections Chief Enforcement Counsel Risa Sugarman. “The public has the right to know who contributes to campaigns and how candidates spend those contributions.  The Division of Election Law Enforcement will continue to work together with its law enforcement partners, including the Attorney General, to assure New Yorkers that violations of the public trust do not go unpunished.”

A complaint filed in Albany City Court charges Ms. Adolphe with three counts of the Class A misdemeanor of Knowingly and Willfully Failing to File Statements, in violation of Election Law § 14-126(4).  The three counts in the complaint relate to three separate campaign finance disclosure reports during Ms. Adolphe’s unsuccessful candidacy in 2014 in the Democratic Primary for the 42rd Assembly District. If convicted, Ms. Adolphe faces up to one year in jail for each count.

Ms. Adolphe was arraigned in Albany City Court before the Hon. William Carter, whereupon Ms. Adolphe was released on her own recognizance.

The investigation was handled by Investigator Steven Broomer, with assistance from Senior Investigator Sal Ventola, and Investigators Christopher Bzduch and Mark Spencer. The Attorney General’s Investigations Bureau is led by Chief Investigator Dominick Zarrella, who is assisted by Deputy Chiefs John McManus and Antoine Karam.

Assistant Attorney General Andrew L. Weinstein of the Public Integrity Bureau is prosecuting the case with assistance from Legal Support Analyst Mollie Krent.  The Public Integrity Bureau is led by Bureau Chief Daniel G. Cort and Deputy Bureau Chief Stacy Aronowitz.  The Attorney General’s Criminal Justice Division is led by Executive Deputy Attorney General Kelly Donovan.

The joint investigation was conducted with the New York State Board of Elections. The charges are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.