Caught in a Campaign Web: Ex-NYPD Boss Sentenced for Donation Scheme

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A former deputy inspector in the New York City Police Department (NYPD), Dwyane Montgomery, has been sentenced to community service for his role in a campaign donation scheme involving Mayor Eric Adams’ 2021 campaign.

“Ringleader” in Straw Donor Plot

According to Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s office, Montgomery was considered the orchestrator behind numerous “straw donations” made to Adams’ campaign. A straw donation occurs when someone makes a contribution in their name on behalf of another individual or organization to conceal the true source of the funds.

Community Service Sentence

As part of his plea deal, Montgomery will perform 200 hours of community service and faces a one-year ban on hosting political fundraisers or soliciting contributions on behalf of any political campaigns.

Montgomery’s Role

Prosecutors allege that from 2020 to 2021, Montgomery encouraged friends and relatives to take advantage of the city’s matching funds system, which provides incentives for campaign donations. He also helped organize fundraisers for Adams.

While Adams acknowledges knowing Montgomery from their time in the NYPD, he maintains that his campaign had no knowledge of the illicit donation scheme.

Increased Scrutiny

The donation scheme probe is only one of several investigations surrounding Adams and his team. Federal agents seized the mayor’s electronic devices as part of a separate inquiry into potential illegal campaign contributions.

Despite the scrutiny, Adams has repeatedly emphasized his innocence and denied any wrongdoing.

Six individuals, including Montgomery, were charged in the donation scheme. One of them was Shanay Riley, who organized a fundraiser for Adams and later worked on his transition team.

Misused Matching Funds

The misuse of matching funds is a concern for election officials. In New York City, the matching funds system encourages small-dollar donations from individuals, but it can also be exploited to skirt campaign finance laws.

The recent investigation has cast a spotlight on the need for greater transparency in campaign finance. Good government groups call for stricter enforcement measures and improved reporting systems to prevent the misuse of public funds.

Continued Investigations

The probes involving Mayor Adams and his associates continue. The results of these investigations have the potential to further impact the administration and raise important questions about accountability in local politics.

New York City Mayor Eric Adams on March 19, 2024.

Mayor Eric Adams attends a press conference as a NYPD officer says he was the ringleader of a campaign donation scheme to help the New York City mayor. (AP Photo/Eduardo Munoz Alvarez, File)

Conclusion

The donation scheme involving Mayor Eric Adams and his team has raised concerns about ethical practices and transparency in local politics. The upcoming investigation results will be closely monitored, as they could impact the administration and the public’s trust in its elected officials.