The state Independence Party and chairman Frank MacKay were cleared today of any wrongdoing in a special election held last year on Staten Island. The case was investigated by District Attorney Daniel Donovan’s office, and he’s now running for attorney general.
The Independence Party has backed Donovan’s Democratic opponent Eric Schneiderman for the post.
Here’s the AP story on today’s decision.
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Staten Island District Attorney Daniel Donovan has cleared state Independence Party Chairman Frank MacKay of claims of a political quid pro quo to benefit his wife following an investigation that may have cost Donovan that party’s important endorsement in the race for attorney general.
Donovan, the Republican candidate, had removed himself from consideration for the endorsement in July when he started the investigation based on a press report, saying he had to maintain the integrity of his office and its probe. The party has since endorsed Democrat Eric Schneiderman, the front-runner.
In an Oct. 4 letter Donovan’s office confirmed Friday, the Republican prosecutor said he found “no credible evidence” to prompt criminal charges against MacKay or his wife.
The issue came up months ago in a borough where the Independence Party is a major factor. John Tabacco, a former Staten Island city councilman and owner of a company called All American Technologies, lent $10,000 to a company run by MacKay’s wife, Kristin.
Donovan found the special election for a city council seat that Tabacco was seeking was “nonpartisan” and there were no formal party endorsements, eliminating any possible quid pro quo.
Frank MacKay said the allegation arose from an internal party squabble.
Donovan’s letter says the loan, which has since been paid in full with interest, was between the companies in anticipation of a joint venture suggested months earlier by an unnamed third person, not Tabacco or either of the MacKays.