From City and State:
A source notes that tucked deep into an obscure campaign finance report for Senate Minority Leader John Sampson is a $5,000 expense for a top white shoe law firm, which is representing Sampson in the ongoing Aqueduct Entertainment Group probe.
The Manhattan law firm Thompson, Wigdor & Gilly received the payment in July 2011. It was the first time that an individual member of the Democratic conference has used campaign cash to retain the firm’s services, amidst a federal investigation into the AEG deal, campaign finance records show.
Sampson included the expense in an “off-cycle” report – rather than his normal January filing – for reasons that were not immediately clear.
A Democratic source confirmed that the new $5,000 expenditure was for Sampson’s personal legal fees.
Thompson, Wigdor & Gilly initially represented the Senate Democratic conference as a whole in the ongoing probe into the conference’s behavior in the 2010 bidding out of a $1 billion gaming contract that initially went to AEG.
First, the Senate Democrats spent more than $29,000 in taxpayer cash in early 2010 in an attempt to quash subpoenas related to the probe. Then, during the 2010 election cycle, the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee spent $118,000 more on legal fees — which helped put the conference more than $3 million in debt.