Ex-state Senator Velella could face charges over use of GOP account

Former State Senator Guy Velella may have to answer to the State Attorney General?s office for using money from a GOP account to pay his legal fees.

News 12 Westchester learned through financial disclosure forms that Velella paid $70,000 to his attorney with money from an account with the Bronx County Republican Committee. Velella claims he was able to use that money because the account was classified as a political one and it contained funds he raised. However, officials at the Board of Elections in Manhattan say it is a party account and has money that is raised for various campaigns. They also say it?s up to the chairman or executive board of the committee to make the determinations of how the money is spent.

Before Velella went to jail to serve time for bribery and conspiracy, he resigned from the committee but did not take his name off the bank account. Because of that, the party has not be able to touch a dime.

The Board of Elections does not have the authority to declare Velella?s spending illegal. Any criminal charges against Velella will stem from the Bronx district attorney or the State Attorney General?s office.

Related story Former senator under fire for allegedly spending campaign contributions

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