Onondaga County Republican Committee Chairman Tom Dadey has filed a formal complaint Friday with the State Board of Elections.
He claims Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner violated election law by illegally funneling money into four local campaigns throughout the NYS Democratic Committee.
He calls the scandal "Manniongate" because one of the candidates that received the money is Gwyn Mannion, who is the daughter-in-law of Mayor Miner's husband. The other three are Helen Hudson who is running for Common Council, Auditor candidate Marty Masterpol, and Bob Dougherty who is also running for Common Council.
The call for an investigation stems from an article in the Syracuse Post Standard which detailed how Miner's political action committee, Promise PAC, contributed $45,000 last month to the New York State Democratic Committee. Within weeks after the donation, the Democratic Committee provided $33,000 to four local candidates in this year's election, reportedly at Miner's request.
Election Law restricts the amount of money that individuals and organizations can contribute to political candidates but such restrictions do not apply to political parties.
"The way that Promise PAC donated money to the State Democratic Committee and that money was returned to four local candidates was a clear way to try to violate and circumvent the New York State Election laws." Dadey told reporters at a news conference.
Mayor Miner has been quick to respond by denying any wrongdoing. She characterized Dadey's accusations as part of a smear campaign. She says the contribution from her Promise PAC was not tied to any commitment that the NYS Democratic Committee would fund those campaigns.
She says she did have a conversation with State Party Chairman Jay Jacobs, in which she discussed races they could support including others that did not receive money. "I feel an obligation to make sure that promising candidates get the kind of support they need because good candidates equal good government." Miner told CNY Central's Jim Kenyon.
Read the full news release from the Onondaga County Republican Party.
Stay with CNYCentral.com for all the updates.