The most recent state campaign finance reports show that former Suffolk Conservative chairman Edward Walsh received $16,550 in wages for April and May even though he was automatically removed as party leader after his March 31 conviction on federal corruption charges.
The July 15 filing of the Conservative Party Chairman’s Club showed that Walsh received three payments for wages in April and May. At least two of the checks were cut while Walsh was on trial for wire fraud and theft of government funds.
Frank Tinari, acting Suffolk Conservative chairman, in a prepared statement Friday, said, “Although the disbursements predated Mr. Walsh’s conviction on March 31, it appears the funds were attributed to future dates. I have therefore asked Mr. Walsh to return these funds and he has agreed.”
William Wexler, Walsh’s attorney, said the payments were made “at a time he didn’t think he would be convicted” and expected to remain party leader. He confirmed that Walsh has agreed to make repayment.
Kenneth Auerbach, Brookhaven Conservative co-leader who is seeking to oust Tinari as party leader, said the payments remain questionable. “Do you get paid your salary before you even show up for work?” he asked.