Mychajliw accepted illegal donations after failing to gain local support; Refuses to follow laws
(Hamburg, NY) Today members of the Hamburg Democratic Committee filed a lawsuit in State Supreme Court asking a Judge to compel Stefan Mychajliw to comply with Campaign Finance Laws.
Mr. Mychajliw, the top financial officer for Erie County, who shows up to work 5 weekdays per month and is running for his 3rd different office since moving to Hamburg 4 years ago, has failed to register a committee for the purpose of disclosing his contributions and expenditures relating to his Hamburg Supervisor candidacy, despite having held at least two fundraisers and expending money on his bid for Hamburg Supervisor.
An account for his Supervisor candidacy would have been required to be open before any money is received or spent for the purposes of this year’s election.
Presumably money being spent has been coming from his Comptroller account, which is illegal due to the different donor limits of $31,484 for Comptroller, as opposed to $2,196 for Hamburg Supervisor.
The disclosure filed by Mychajliw in July, which was 11 days late, also shows at least 2 illegal donations that exceed the contribution limit for candidates running for Supervisor.
Mychajliw illegally obtained a $5,000 donation from Tarver Transit of Tonawanda which is more than double what’s allowable by law, and 2 donations totaling $3,500 from Depew based Accadia contracting, $1,300 more than what’s allowed by law.
In addition to the illegal contributions, Mychajliw’s filing showed a lack of support among Hamburg residents. In his July filing, of the 88 contributions Mychajliw received since the beginning of the year, only 16, or 20%, were from donors residing in Hamburg.
Donors living outside of Hamburg accounted for more than 90% of money Mychajliw raised for his Supervisor run. Of the $26,250 contributed to his campaign, $14,599, or 56%, came from corporate interests such as law firms, banks, and contractors who often benefit from business dealings with friendly Town Supervisors.
Mychajliw’s October filing leaves out the addresses of most of his contributors. So far for the year, Mychajliw has raised a paltry $33,525, compared with his opponent Randy Hoak’s $52,725.
This isn’t the first time Mr. Mychajliw has run afoul of campaign finance laws.
Last year, leading up to his failed Congressional run in which he was rejected by Hamburg Republicans by a 2-1 margin, Mr. Mychajliw issued payments of thousands of dollars from his Comptroller account to his patronage staff, who then donated the exact amount into his Congressional account, skirting state and federal campaign finance laws.
Mr. Mychajliw’s January campaign finance filing for his Comptroller account shows large payments to a law firm, presumably to defend himself from those same complaints.
“Campaign finance laws were put into place to ensure transparency, accountability, and a level playing field in campaigns,” said Hamburg Democratic Committee Chair Terry MacKinnon.
“Hamburg voters are rejecting Stefan’s divisive campaign of lies, and the fact that he needs to resort to breaking laws to fund his campaign shows just how desperate he is his to salvage his failing political career.”