Westchester County District Attorney Janet DiFiore, the chairwoman of the state’s ethics watchdog, raised $270,884 over the past six months, including from some state officials the ethics board oversees.
DiFiore, who was appointed as chairman of the Joint Commission on Public Ethics by Gov. Andrew Cuomo last year, received $500 in June from freshman Assemblywoman Shelley Mayer, D-Yonkers. She also received $1,000 from Brandon Sall, a board member of the state Thruway Authority.
Michael Kaplowitz, a Westchester County legislator who ran for state Senate last year, gave her $100. She also took in $5,000 from the Buchanan, Ingersoll & Rooney PAC, based in Pittsburgh.
JCOPE oversees ethics laws for the executive and legislative branches, as well as lobbying.
DiFiore, a Republican turned Democrat who is up for re-election next year, would return any campaign contributions that raises any concerns, said spokesman Lucian Chalfen.
“If someone raises something that gets by and it’s appropriate, then the money would be returned,” he said, adding the district attorney is “vigilant” in reviewing who she accepts campaign money from.
She did refund $5,250, including $4,500 from White Plains attorney Joseph Maria.
JCOPE’s laws doesn’t preclude its commissioners for raising campaign cash. However, it prohibits them “from making, or soliciting from other persons, any contributions to candidates for election to the offices of governor, lieutenant governor, member of the assembly or the senate, attorney general or state comptroller.”
DiFiore’s haul was significant. In the prior six months — from last July through January — she raised just $3,050.
With her opening balance in January of $264,116 and her contributions over the past six months, she now has $517,721 in her war chest.