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Court: Norma Gonsalves campaign violated finance disclosure rules

Norma Gonsalves, presiding officer of Nassau County Legislature,

Norma Gonsalves, presiding officer of Nassau County Legislature, listens as the Nassau District Attorney Madeline Singas discusses county contracting reforms on Monday, March 21, 2016 in Mineola. Photo Credit: Howard Schnapp

ALBANY — A state judge has ruled that Norma Gonsalves, the presiding officer of the Nassau County Legislature, violated campaign-finance disclosure laws eight times between 2013 and 2015.

State Supreme Court Justice Christina Ryba imposed a $14,000 fine on Gonsalves’ campaign committee, Friends of Norma Gonsalves, in a decision filed Friday in State Supreme Court, Albany County.

Newsday reported last year that Gonsalves violated state election laws at least 33 times between 2006 and 2015 by failing to disclose political donors and campaign expenses involving Friends for Norma Gonsalves.

The enforcement arm of the state Board of Elections filed suit against Gonsalves in March, accusing her of 10 instances of failing to file timely reports between 2013 and 2015.

The board sought $28,000 in fines against Gonsalves and Joseph Parisi, her former campaign treasurer.

Gonsalves’ attorney claimed the Elections Board either lacked authority or failed to properly bring the charges and asked Ryba to dismiss all the claims. The judge declined.

“Based upon the record before it, the court finds ample support” for the board’s determination that Gonsalves had violated campaign-finance disclosure requirements, Ryba wrote.

Gonsalves spokesman Frank Moroney noted the court found against the committee and not the presiding officer or Joseph Parisi, her campaign treasurer.

“As soon as it is fully analyzed by the Committee’s attorneys a decision will be made as to how to proceed,” said Moroney, adding that Gonsalves has yet to decide whether to appeal the decision.

With Robert Brodsky

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