Working Families Party Says No Charges By U.S. Attorney. Now It’s Cuomo’s Move.


The Working Families Party says that it received an all-clear last night from the U.S. Attorney’s office ending its almost year-long probe of the party’s campaign operations, including its Data & Field Services unit, with no charges filed.

A spokeswoman for top prosecutor Preet Bharara says only, “No comment.”

WFP’s Dan Levitan says the party appreciates the “professionalism of the U.S. Attorney’s Office,” and adds: “Of course, the NYC Campaign Finance Board, as part of the post-election audit process of campaigns that participate in the public campaign finance system, is auditing the campaigns that contracted for services with Data & Field Services in 2009.”

What that means is that no one should be surprised if the CFB, which has long dueled with the party and its union sponsors over its candidate funding, has some things to say about expenditures in the 2009 campaigns by WFP-backed candidates.

Campaign board spokesman Eric Friedman says the party has that right: “We’re not in a position to comment on the work of the US Attorney’s office. But the statement from the WFP seems to sum our position up pretty well: our regular post-election audits from the 2009 campaign are still ongoing. As long as they are still open, there’s nothing I can really say about the substance therein.”

Next up is Andrew Cuomo, who had said he would wait to see the outcome of the probe before deciding whether or not to take the party’s ballot line. The party’s current gubernatorial nominee is tenant attorney Kenny Schaeffer who agreed to hold the spot until Cuomo made up his mind.

Cuomo’s next hurdle for the party will be whether they are willing to sign on to his platform, which includes a property tax cap opposed by many unions, including the teachers’ union, a top WFP member.