NY DA launches probe into fraud allegations around Zeldin nomination: report

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An upstate New York district lawyer is reportedly moving forward with a probe into election-fraud allegations linked to the nomination of the Republican prospect for governor, Rep. Lee Zeldin, the same week absentee ballots are being despatched out in the large-stakes race versus Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul.

The Instances Union 1st noted on Sunday that the Albany County District Attorney’s Office environment and the New York State Board of Elections were shifting ahead with an investigation into 1000’s of duplicated signatures submitted all through the nomination approach as element of an hard work to protected Zeldin on the Independence Get together Line. 

According to the report, “Investigators at first suspected the approximately 11,000 duplicate signatures, which were photocopied at the point out Republican Social gathering headquarters in Albany, had been inserted in the petitions owing to a clerical error. But investigators are now inspecting no matter whether there are opportunity prison expenses mainly because it appears the replicate signatures ended up deliberately blended into the petitions, a supply with expertise of the investigation said.”

Zeldin himself was not included in the process of publishing the signatures, in accordance to the newspaper. That was managed by John F. Haggerty, Jr., who serves in a management purpose for the New York Point out Republican Social gathering. 

Even now, Hochul’s marketing campaign seized on the report.


Rep. Lee Zeldin, R-NY, campaigns for governor during the annual West Indian Day parade on September 5, 2022 in Brooklyn, New York City. 

Rep. Lee Zeldin, R-NY, strategies for governor in the course of the annual West Indian Day parade on September 5, 2022 in Brooklyn, New York City. 
(Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Pictures)

Haggerty was sentenced in 2011 to approximately four many years in prison adhering to a grand larceny and income laundering conviction for thieving $750,000 from former New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg throughout his 2009 re-election campaign, in accordance to a New York Occasions story at the time. 

The Hochul campaign issued remarks on Sunday, stating that the Occasions Union’s reporting discovered that the “Albany County District Attorney’s workplace and the State Board of Elections are relocating forward with a legal investigation into fraudulent petitions submitted by Lee Zeldin’s campaign.” 

A Sunday statement from Hochul marketing campaign supervisor, Brian Lenzmeier, additional, “After months of non-answers and finger-pointing, New Yorkers are worthy of to know who accurately was associated in Xerox Zeldin’s election fraud scandal. The info below are clear: Zeldin’s campaign supervisor knowingly signed off on 47 volumes of petitions containing far more than 11,000 photocopied signatures.” 

“As a congressman, Lee Zeldin supported lawful efforts to overturn the 2020 election and pushed baseless conspiracy theories beneath the banner of ‘election integrity,’ but evidently that doesn’t apply to his own campaign,” Lenzmeier alleged. “His campaign is now implicated in a criminal investigation for trying to defraud voters and Zeldin requires to be held accountable.”

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul during a New York State Financial Control Board meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2022. 

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul throughout a New York Point out Monetary Control Board conference on Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2022. 
(Stephanie Keith by way of Getty Photos)

In August, a spokeswoman for the New York Board of Elections verified to WHD News Electronic that of the signatures submitted for Zeldin to operate on the Independence Celebration line — in addition to the GOP ticket — just 39,228 were validated, falling brief of the 45,000 required. Practically 13,000 other folks had been deemed invalid for a swath of good reasons, such as replicate signatures, voters not correctly registered, or incorrect addresses, she mentioned. She did not comment on no matter whether any photocopied signatures have been observed.

The news about the probe comes all over the exact same time the Instances Union documented about an alleged spend-to-engage in COVID-19 examination deal for one particular of Hochul’s political donors. In accordance to the report, Hochul’s marketing campaign been given $300,000 from a donor whose corporation, Digital Gizmos, later secured an more than $600 million agreement to provide rapid checks for New York point out. California paid out 45% much less for rapid COVID-19 tests by buying straight from the same New Jersey-primarily based supplier, AccessBio. 

Republican nominee for Governor, Lee Zeldin, holds a press conference demanding Democrat Gov. Kathy Hochul join him on the debate stage for a minimum of five televised debates throughout New York. 

Republican nominee for Governor, Lee Zeldin, holds a push convention demanding Democrat Gov. Kathy Hochul sign up for him on the discussion stage for a bare minimum of 5 televised debates all through New York. 
(Lev Radin/Pacific Push/LightRocket by means of Getty Visuals)

A spokeswoman for Zeldin refuted the claims in a assertion to WHD News Digital on Monday.

“Right here are the really inconvenient information that have not improved and will not alter no subject how tricky Kathy Hochul tries to distract from her huge fork out-to-participate in scandals: The Zeldin campaign experienced no expertise of photocopies and the Zeldin campaign did not make any photocopies,” Katie Vincentz said. “Kathy Hochul’s shell out-to-perform with Digital Gadgets is one of numerous corruption scandals that want to be investigated. The household that owns Digital Devices gave Hochul $300,000 in campaign contributions. Following she unilaterally signed off on self-claimed COVID Emergency Powers wherever she suspended the state’s competitive bidding laws, Kathy Hochul entered into a no-bid, in excess of $600 million contract with Digital Gadgets to offer COVID assessments at twice the likely charge, which Electronic Devices does not even manufacture.”

The statement ongoing, “Digital Devices was just an unneeded, wasteful intermediary that Hochul paid out off, massively ripping off New York taxpayers in the approach. Where’s the Democrat Attorney Typical, Democrat State Comptroller, and Democrat Albany District Legal professional on that? Oh yeah, there’s an election coming up on November 8th, so they eagerly glance the other way. Give me a crack!”

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New York could have saved $286 million if it paid out the similar price tag, in accordance to the report. 

In an appearance on WHD News on Sunday, Zeldin appealed to Democratic voters in the staunchly blue citizens to assistance him “conserve this condition,” criticizing Hochul for suggesting that he shift down to Florida following she’s accused the Republican of currently being a pro-Trump extremist not suit to operate New York. 

EDITOR’S Be aware: This report has been updated to clarify the described investigation into fraud allegations. 

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