For the last two years, ex-Gov. David Paterson’s name could be found at the bottom of the first page of retired Congressman Charles Rangel’s filings to the Federal Election Commission, on the line reserved for “signature of treasurer.”
Paterson’s typed name also appears on the signature line of a letter sent just last month to the FEC on Rangel campaign matters.
There’s just one problem: Paterson hasn’t worked for Rangel’s campaign for three years.
“My name’s still there?” he said, astonished, when The Post asked about the filings. “It must be a mistake.”
A spokesman for the FEC confirmed that the filings sent to them still list Paterson as being in charge of the books for Rangel for Congress and Rangel’s National Leadership PAC.
But Paterson insisted he “resigned as treasurer in 2015.”
Meanwhile, tens of thousands of dollars appear to have flowed between the Rangel for Congress campaign committee and Rangel’s National Leadership PAC, according to FEC filings. A PAC is not legally allowed to give or loan a campaign more than $5,000.
Rangel, 87, claims he gave a legal personal loan of $100,000 to his campaign in June 2014 when he was fighting to overturn his 2010 censure by the House of Representatives and facing a tough primary challenge against fellow Harlem Democrat Adriano Espaillat.
But FEC records listing campaign disbursements reviewed by The Post appear to show that the campaign repaid most of the loan cash not to Rangel but to his National Leadership PAC last February. This would suggest that the PAC, and not Rangel as the ex-congressman claims, lent the money to the campaign in the first place.
Rangel for Congress made three payments on Feb. 16: $25,000, $25,889.57, and $24,110.43, according to FEC disbursement filings. Two of the entries were described as “loan repayment” and the other payment was for a “partial loan forgiven,” referring to a loan made on June 23, 2014 — the same day records claim he made the $100,000 loan to his campaign committee.
Although Rangel for Congress paperwork, filed in February, says that the money is being repaid directly to Rangel, the FEC identification number for the payments indicate the cash instead went to the National Leadership PAC.
Rangel insisted to The Post that the campaign repaid him, and not the PAC.
“The money went to the campaign committee and was repaid to me. Period,” Rangel said.
During his 45 years in Congress, Rangel broke a host of congressional ethics rules, including failing to pay tax on income from a Caribbean villa he owned, which was first revealed by The Post.
When asked if Paterson was still the treasurer, Rangel refused to comment and directed The Post to Darren Rigger, a former fund-raiser. Rigger said that when Rangel retired from politics in January, final campaign paperwork was farmed out to a Washington company that specializes in FEC filings.
That firm blamed the FEC’s “antiquated” database — but refused to comment on whether the paperwork was ever sent to Paterson for approval.
Since March, the FEC has been demanding answers, refusing to wind down Rangel’s campaign committee and PAC until it gets them. In a March letter to Paterson, the FEC raised questions about the campaign’s final report, threatening in bold letters to audit or fine them if they didn’t comply....Read more