BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Before it was disbanded by Governor Andrew Cuomo in April, the Moreland Commission on Public Corruption had been focusing on how Albany lawmakers spend the money that is donated to their campaign war chests.
Moreland listed State Senator Patrick Gallivan at number three, for unexplained campaign expenditures.
According to an article in City and State Magazine, Gallivan was found to have $80,000 in unreported campaign credit card charges. The magazine says that figure included hundreds of dollars spent on casinos, cigars, tanning and salons.
“We know that Moreland looked at the entire Legislature and their campaign spending, and it’s important to note that we are talking about voluntary campaign contributions and not taxpayer dollars,” Sen. Gallivan told News 4 on Tuesday.
Nonetheless, Sen. Gallivan said after the Moreland report, he instructed his staff to conduct their own review of the books.
“When some questions were raised, I directed our campaign staff to look at our filings – which, we have always tried to ensure compliance with all the laws – but to look at them, to make sure that we are fully compliant,” Gallivan said. “And I’m confident that we indeed are.”
Sen. George Maziarz topped Moreland’s list, with $140,000 in unspecified campaign expenditures. Maziarz, who announced on Monday that he will not seek re-election to the Senate this fall, has said that the Moreland findings played no part in his decision.
And Gallivan believes him.
“George has articulated that it was a personal reason, it was made for his family, something he’s been thinking about for a long time. And I think that, unless we’re shown otherwise, we have to believe what he said,” said Gallivan.
Meanwhile, Gallivan does intend to run for re-election to the Senate seat he first won in 2010.
“I am fully committed to the 59th Senate District,” the Senator said Tuesday. “We have a re-election this year, as well. I enjoy doing what I’m doing, and I’m very satisfied… in the fact that we’ve been able to move Western New York forward, and the state forward, in the past few years. So long as we continue to work in that same direction, I think that’s good for everybody.”
Although the Moreland Commission no longer exists, many of the documents it compiled have been turned over to U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara in Manhattan. It remains to be seen whether Bharara’s office will pursue legal action or criminal charges against any state legislators, based on any of the data that those documents chronicle.
Moreland was tasked only with looking into the finances of state legislators, and not the governor, the attorney general or the state comptroller.