Assemblyman Cahill acknowledges double payments
Posted Oct 27, 2016 at 7:56 PM
Updated Oct 27, 2016 at 8:09 PM
By Paul Brooks
KINGSTON — Assemblyman Kevin Cahill collected personal reimbursements from the state for travel expenses he had paid with money from his campaign account, a possible violation of the law, according to a Times Herald-Record review of state and campaign records.
In an Oct. 25 emailed response to questions from the Times Herald-Record, Cahill acknowledged the double payments. He said his staff was supposed to track expenses, reimbursements and travel, but had not. "They were, of course, supposed to notify me when a state reimbursement check was to cover expenses for something previously paid by the campaign," he said, "but that didn’t happen either."
The 10-term legislator from Kingston, who chairs the Assembly’s powerful Insurance Committee, said the responsibility for the mistakes is, in the end, his. He said he is revising and buttressing his campaign-finance operations.
"I owe it to the public to avoid anything that can even just raise such concerns," he said. "They’ve had enough of that already."
The Record discovered the double payments while reviewing five years worth of campaign expenditure records, as well as state Legislature travel and expenditure records, for several state legislators from the mid-Hudson. The research took place over the past two months.
Cahill said he was not aware of the bookkeeping problems until the inquiry from the Record.
In a telephone conversation Thursday, he said he had worked very hard to protect his reputation. The revelations, he said, "are nothing short of devastating."
Gerald Benjamin, a former dean at SUNY New Paltz and respected political scientist, said Cahill had worked with his foundation in the past. "He has been very careful" to act ethically, Benjamin said. "I know he cares about it."
From my Samsung S6