NY law has long let officials use campaign funds for defense

Gov. Andrew Cuomo/File
Gov. Andrew Cuomo/File(Mary Altaffer | AP / Mary Altaffer)
Published: Jul. 27, 2021 at 11:50 AM EDT
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ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - Some legislators want to change New York’s campaign finance rules after Gov. Andrew Cuomo used $285,000 in political donations to pay lawyers representing him in sexual harassment and misconduct investigations.

That kind of campaign spending is allowed under certain conditions but many still find it distasteful. New York politicians have used millions of dollars in campaign funds in recent years to pay lawyers to defend them against allegations of wrongdoing.

Cuomo spokesperson Rich Azzopardi defended the use of campaign cash for legal bills. He says “using campaign funds instead of taxpayer dollars for this purpose has been well established for decades.”

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