Charities Give to State Campaigns, Despite Law
Assemblywoman Rhoda S. Jacobs, a Queens Democrat, received contributions from several nonprofits, according to the records, including Maimonides Medical Center, which gave her campaign $2,500 in 2006.
That summer, Ms. Jacobs secured state financing to help Maimonides buy a CT scanner.
“I don’t think we did anything wrong,” said Mary Jo Ehrlich, chief of staff for Ms. Jacobs. “The onus isn’t on us to find out what their tax status is.”
Asked if the campaign did any vetting of donors, she said, “I don’t know that we go through and say, ‘We can’t take this,’ or ‘We can’t take that.’ “
A spokeswoman for Maimonides, a nonprofit hospital, said she believed the contribution was made in error when hospital officials attended a brunch at which Ms. Jacobs was the host.
Assemblyman Peter J. Abbate Jr., a Brooklyn Democrat, accepted a total of $900 from 2005 to 2008 from the Italian Board of Guardians, a Brooklyn nonprofit that provides social services like marital counseling, tutoring and housekeeping for the elderly and the disabled.
Mr. Abbate said in an interview that he was not aware the organization had given him money.
“They gave how much?” he asked when told that the group had given him donations going back to at least 2005. “They shouldn’t have,” he said. “And if they have, I will return the money.”
He later said that some of the donations may have been recorded improperly and may have come from people who work for the board.
Maria Patalano, the executive director of the Italian Board of Guardians, said she believed the contributions reflected her purchases of tickets to fund-raising dinners, but did not consider them political donations.
“That’s P.R. work,” she said. “You need to be out there. But as far as I see, that’s not really a donation.”