Republican nominee Charlie Spano blasted his fellow mayor candidates today for failing to file their campaign finance reports in the city clerk’s office as a new city law requires.
Spano said the city’s new Ethics Code requires filing the reports with the city clerk at the same time as at the Lackawanna County Bureau of Elections. Friday was the deadline for the latest campaign finance report and only he filed in both places on time, Spano said.
None of the other six mayor candidates with the city clerk filed as of Friday, he said.
The other candidates are former Scranton School Director Paige Cognetti, attorney Chris Cullen, City Councilman Kyle Donahue, tattoo artist John Goshleski, pizzeria owner Giovanni Piccolino and writer/activist/property manager Gary St. Fleur. All but St. Fleur filed with the county, director of elections Marion Medalis said.
Filing with the city clerk matters, he said, because the code also requires the city to post the reports on its website where voters can see it.
The county Bureau of Elections has no requirement for posting a report online.
Spano said one mayor candidate voted for the Ethics Code, but didn’t file the report with the city clerk. He did not name Donahue, but Donahue is the only mayor candidate who sits on the council and voted for the ethics code, which he helped write.
Donahue said he filed his report with the city clerk today.
He said it isn’t clear the deadline for filing with the city clerk is in effect because the Board of Ethics hasn’t taken steps to establish the system for posting the reports online. The code requires the city to post a notice on the city website setting the contribution limits and “a plain English explanation of the campaign finance section provisions.
Piccolino said he didn’t know he had to file with the city’s clerk’s office and blamed the Bureau of Elections for failing to tell him that.
Cognetti said her campaign was aware of the ethics code filing requirement, but was so focused on completing the report for filing at the county, it didn’t get to City Hall in time.
She plans to file the report at City Hall today, she said.
Goshleski dismissed the code requirement.
“Our city government is full of these ridiculous technicalities that serve no useful purpose,” he said. “They only hinder progress. It’s very irritating. I’m sure the board of elections can pass on the financial report to the city clerk. If not I will file with the clerk as well.”
Cullen said he was unaware of the requirement and wondered why neither the county nor the city notified candidates. Cullen filed only a report saying he spent less than $250 because he’s not spending any money on the race.
“I’ll be happy to take it over (to City Hall),” he said. “If they don’t notifiy candidates, how are they going to know?”
Efforts to reach St. Fleur were unsuccessful so far.
Check back for updates.