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Independence Party chief files complaint against Jay Jacobs

Nassau Democratic chairman Jay Jacobs on Nov. 5,

Nassau Democratic chairman Jay Jacobs on Nov. 5, 2013. Credit: Newsday / John Paraskevas

Nassau Independence Party chairman Rick Bellando has fired back at Nassau Democratic chairman Jay Jacobs, asking the state Board of Elections to investigate "irrefutable evidence of illegal activity" involving loans by Jacobs and his private summer camp companies to the Democratic committee.

Bellando alleged in a 40- page-plus complaint Friday that Jacobs transferred $200,000 from Timber Lake Management Corp. in 2011 to the county Democratic Party's operating committee in violation of corporate contribution limits and then attempted to cover it up through complicated loan transfers and repayments.

The Nassau GOP made a similar complaint in 2011 and repeated it the next year in response to Jacobs' complaints about Republican campaign committee spending. The state board has not acted on the GOP complaints against Jacobs.

Jacobs called the $200,000 contribution a mistake by his accountant who incorrectly wired the money from the corporate account instead of his personal account.

Jacobs has railed against the Independence Party since before Oheka Castle owner Gary Melius was shot last month by an unknown gunman. Melius, who is recovering, employs Bellando and hosts Independence Party events.

"The Nassau Democratic chair can talk a big game about ethics and gives the impression that he is above reproach," Bellando said in a statement Saturday.

Republican attorney John Ryan said, "If somebody keeps poking somebody else in the eye, they get kind of mad."

"What this boils down to," Jacobs said, "you have a couple of guys who soak huge sums of money out of their party and put them into their own pockets complaining about a guy who pumps large sums of money into his own party and makes nothing from it."

Jacobs has complained that 80 percent of the Independence Party spending has gone to Bellando, Oheka and state and Suffolk Independence Party chairman Frank MacKay. Jacobs does not take a salary from the Democratic Party.

Jacobs has also called for Republican and Democratic gubernatorial candidates to refuse the Independence Party endorsement as a way to take away the party's ballot line.

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