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Ex-IDC members pay $275,000, settling Sugarman suit

ALBANY — Eight former members of the state Senate’s defunct Independent Democratic Conference have paid $275,000 to settle allegations they took millions in unlawful campaign donations.

The settlement was finalized July 9 between the senators — only two of whom are still in office — and Risa Sugarman, the chief enforcement counsel for the State Board of Elections.

In January, Sugarman sought more than $8.6 million in penalties and fines from senators, campaign staff and party officials connected to a fundraising partnership between the Independence Party and the IDC, which controversially partnered with Republicans to run the chamber for half a decade.

“We are confident we would have prevailed in this case,” said Lawrence Mandelker, the IDC’s election lawyer, in a statement. “However, the financial cost would have been substantially more than this settlement and would have resulted in campaign staff and treasurers being adversely economically affected. This decision to settle allows those still in the Senate to continue focusing on the important issues facing New Yorkers and those defeated to move on with their lives.”

The settlement agreement does not include the state Independence Party or its officials, including Frank MacKay, the party’s chairman. Sugarman’s case against the Independence Party – which seeks …read more

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