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Hevesi slapped with fine, heaviest of all NYC pols

The crazy and contentious election year is over and the only thing former Democratic mayoral candidate Alan Hevesi won was the title of the heaviest fined political candidate by the New York City Campaign Finance Board.

Just as the newly elected officials have begun to put their own imprint on their seat and the losers have retreated to lick their wounds, the Campaign Finance Board has started to issue fines for violations of the board’s rules.

Hevesi, who lost in the first round of the Democratic primary and now plans to run for state comptroller, was hit with fines of $10,980. The fines were by far the largest of any candidate and more than $9,000 higher than any of the other mayoral candidates.

Hevesi, who tried to skirt the board’s campaign finance rules during the election, was forced to pay his political consultant Hank Morris $250,000. The Campaign Finance Board ruled that Morris could not provide his services to the Hevesi camp under the auspicious of being a volunteer.

Republican mayoral candidate Herman Badillo was fined $360, Democratic mayoral candidate Fernando Ferrer was hit with $1,440 in fines, the board levied $1,620 in fines against Democratic mayoral candidate Mark Green and Democratic mayoral candidate Peter Vallone received $720 in fines.

In addition to the fines levied on the mayoral candidates, two of the four candidates for Queens borough president were hit with penalties. Queens Borough President Helen Marshall received $900 in fines while Democratic candidate Sheldon Leffler was saddled with $945 in fines.

Of the more than 80 candidates for one of the 14 city council seats in Queens, 28 have been fined. The Campaign Finance Board has assessed penalties on Nov. 30, Dec. 6 and Jan. 10.

The Campaign Finance Board levied fines for a number of infractions, which included taking corporate cash, ignoring contribution limits set by the board, accepting money from unregistered political action committees, filing campaign finance statements late and failing to file a financial statement.

The city’s campaign matching fund program, which is widely considered the best in the country, matches donations by $4 to $1 for donations up to $250 by city residents. The matching fund program was designed to lessen the influence of campaign contributors, level the playing field and make the information on the candidates’ finances readily accessible.

The 28 City Council candidates and newly elected council members fined were: Joseph Addabbo ($705), Anthony Avella ($180), Aziz Bilal ($200), Arthur Cheliotes ($180), John Ciafone ($200), Leroy Comrie ($200), Helen Cooper-Gregory ($0), Angel Del Villar ($5,925), John Frank ($800), James Gennaro ($1,080), Eric Gioia ($300), Aida Gonzalez-Jarrin ($0), Richard Jannaccio ($1,000), Patrick Jenkins ($1,450), Allan Jennings ($0), Ed Lewis ($360), John Liu ($0), Hiram Monserrate ($200), Ishmael Morgan ($180), James Sanders ($280), Helen Sears ($180), John Seminerio ($720), Larry Smith ($100), Peter Vallone Jr. ($720), Sandra Vassos, ($250), David Weprin ($540), Michael Zapiti ($50) and Lori Zett ($0).

A fine of $0 means that the person was cited, but the board decided not to levy a monetary penalty.

Reach reporter Adam Kramer by e-mail at Timesledgr@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 157.

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