Brookhaven: Lesko returns most campaign funds to donors

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Former Brookhaven Supervisor Mark Lesko has returned the bulk of  $89,278 that remained in his campaign account after he decided not to seek re-election.

About $70,000 in campaign cash was returned to 50 donors who sought refunds and had given to his campaign since the beginning of the year, according to Lesko. He said all got full refunds. The former former supervisor said the remaining $20,000 will be given to charities, although he has made no decisions about which ones.

Lesko, who left office to take a job with Accelerate Long Island, decided to return money after Republicans warned that he would politicize his new job, which advocates for high tech development, were he to give his money to Democrats.

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Lesko’s July campaign finance report showed that Lesko has raised $154,325 during the first six months of 2012 from more than 200 donors. However, in that period, he also spent $94,087, the largest amount, $43,0465 went to fundraiser Molly Bishop, daughter of Rep. Tim Bishop (D-Southampton) and $38,595 to restaurants and golf courses where events were held.

Lesko also filed a later undated off-cycle report with the state board showing he gave $5,000 to the Suffolk County Police Veterans Association and another $9,328 to Molly Bishop’s firm to handle the refund process.

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