A major political consulting group was pummeled with a fine Thursday for skirting campaign finance laws during the 2013 election, sparking some fallout in the current race for Staten Island District Attorney.
The Advance Group was fined $15,000 by the city’s Campaign Finance Board and $10,800 by the state attorney general for work it did on behalf of New Yorkers for Clean, Livable and Safe Streets, or NYCLASS, an anti-horse carriage group.
NYCLASS sent out mailers in support of City Council candidates Mark Levine and Laurie Cumbo, who were also clients of the firm. Under the law, such independent groups cannot coordinate with candidates for office.
"In this case, there was a failure to maintain that independence and maintain a firewall between people in the organization that were working on a campaign and people in the organization that were working on independent expenditures," said state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.
As a result of the settlement, Jonathan Yedin, who has been serving as campaign manager for Michael McMahon’s district attorney campaign on Staten Island, has resigned.
Yedin had been on leave from his position with the Advance Group and will be returning to the firm.