New Rochelle Councilman Took Illegal Campaign Contribution from Real Estate Developer

Written By: Robert Cox

NEW ROCHELLE, NY — New Rochelle Council Member Louis Trangucci accepted an illegal campaign contribution from Greg A. Gonzalez, a local real estate developer based in New Rochelle.

Trangucci took $2,500 from Gonzalez on June 20, 2019, according to campaign finance reports filed with New York State. It was the largest individual campaign contribution ever taken in by Trangucci in his 12 years as a candidate for elective office.

The New York State Board of Elections limits individual campaign contributions based on a formula: total number of registered voters in the candidate’s district, excluding voters in inactive status, multiplied by $0.05, but at least $1,000, and no more than $50,000.

The number of registered voters in District 1, Trangucci’s home district has never caused the formula to exceed the limit amount of $1,000.

The acceptance of campaign funds from developers with business before the City Council is a notable about face for an elected official who for years criticized political opponents for doing the same. Trangucci was especially vocal in condemning Mayor Noam Bramson for accepting campaign contributions from individuals associated with Forest City/Ratner which for years sought to develop waterfront property along Echo Bay.

Bramson took $17,500 in campaign donations from Forest City consultants and $5,000 in donations from the Ratner family between 2006 and 2013.

After Republican Party officials learned of the illegal campaign contribution to Trangucci by the developer, they directed Trangucci to return the money. Trangucci then refunded $1,500 of the $2,500 on July 9, 2019.

Trangucci, who was first elected to office in 2007, told state officials he was refunding the money because he was unaware the real estate developer’s contribution exceeded the legal limit for individual contributions.

“Did not realize he exceeded the amount an individual can give as a contribution to my campaign,” wrote Trangucci in a note explaining the refund in his July Campaign Financial Disclosure Report.

Campaign Finance Limits are clearly posted on the Westchester County Board of Elections website:

https://citizenparticipation.westchestergov.com/images/stories/pdfs/2019generallimitsr.pdf

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