Niccoli calls on Amedore to return “tainted” money

Democrat Sara Niccoli is calling on GOP Sen. George Amedore to return more than $30,000 in campaign contributions she says he’s received that are tied to Schenectady-based developer Joseph Nicolla, who was implicated in a corruption scandal last week by the state Attorney General’s Office.

In a press release, Niccoli urges Amedore to return the campaign cash and says that he has a “pattern of accepting money from shady, corrupt and even indicted individuals and it has to end.”

Niccoli is looking to unseat Amedore in the 46th Senate District, which includes a large swath of Ulster County, including the City of Kingston. Amedore was elected in 2014.

“Not only was George hand-picked to run for the Senate by convicted felon Dean Skelos, he was even drawn his own special district and lavished with millions of dollars from downstate party bosses,” Niccoli said in a release. “George has also received millions from New York City real estate developers and from Leonard Litwin, who was at the very core of the Dean Skelos corruption scandal. The Nicolla donations are simply the latest example of Senator Amedore being funded by corrupt special interests, and I urge George to do the right thing and return these tainted dollars.”

Nicolla is a Schenectady developer and president of Columbia Development, one of the biggest developers in the Albany-area. State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman accused Nicolla last week of colluding with SUNY Polytechnic Institute President Alain Kaloyeros to rig the bids for a student housing project so it would go to Nicolla’s company. Nicolla has pleaded not guilty.

Amedore’s spokeswoman, Eileen Miller, did not answer a question on whether Amedore will give back the money. But she did return the barbs over campaign cash, calling Niccoli a hypocrite.

“For Sara Niccoli to question Senator Amedore’s integrity is absurd,” Miller said. “He’s a pillar of the community, and as an elected official, he upholds the highest ethical standards with zero tolerance for corruption regardless of party.”

She went on:

“This baseless attack is the height of hypocrisy from Niccoli. Her first campaign donation was dirty money from her mentor Cecilia Tkaczyk, whose flagrant abuse of campaign finance laws to launder money from Mayor DeBlasio is the subject of an ongoing federal investigation, and even now, she continues to travel to New York City to raise money from the same special interests who were involved in that shameful conspiracy.”


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