Kings County Democratic Party Chair Frank Seddio today blasted Assemblymember and Democratic District Leader Walter T. Mosley (D-Fort Greene, Clinton Hill, Prospect Heights, Crown Heights, Bed-Stuy) for calling on a full audit of the county party’s finances, noting the party files disclosure reports twice a year with the state campaign finance board.
Seddio’s comments follow a Daily News report alleging that Seddio has depleted the County Democratic Party Resources since taking over as county chair nearly seven years ago from disgraced former County Chair Vito Lopez.
“If Walter Mosley would have spent five minutes attending regular district leader meetings in the past year he might have had at least an inkling of what the finances of the county are,” said Seddio. “His lack of knowledge and incorrect information is at the very least negligent on his part and shows a failure to do his job as a district leader.”
Seddio said the party files a New York State financial report every six months with the state board of elections, and it is open for anybody to see.
According to the Daily News story, and state filings, since Seddio took the reins of the party in 2013, the party account has been depleted from $505,000 in 2013 to $32,800 in its most recent filing.
The money paid out includes $300,000 to George Arzt Communications for public relations and more than $100,000 to Diana Carone, the wife Frank Carone, the party’s chief lawyer and Seddio’s former law partner.
Seddio said he hired George Arzt Communications because Lopez was ousted in disgrace amidst sexual harassment allegations and that the firm was needed to shore up the party’s reputation. The firm is currently being paid $1,000 a month, Seddio said.
Seddio said Diana Carone has long been the chair of fundraising, for which she has been paid $1,000 a month intermittently when heading fundraising events, which totals $100,000 over nearly seven years.
Seddio also noted that the party is actively involved in boroughwide events in which it spends lump sums of money such as the West Indian Day Parade and the LBGTQ parade. The party also holds annual county committee meetings that cost $18,000, he said.
Seddio also came out swinging at the two political clubs in the Daily News story that was also critical at the way Seddio is handling the county’s finances – the New Kings Democrats (NKD) and the Central Brooklyn Independent Democrats.
“Neither of these county organizations spent five cents supporting county in any of our endeavors,” said Seddio, adding that the county has had to tighten their belt the past few years because the organization didn’t raise as much money as they had hoped.
Mosley’s comments also came as several sources say he is maneuvering to become the next county chair – something that Seddio doesn’t see happening.
“The overwhelming majority of county district leaders and the overwhelming majority of county committee members support me and my enormous effort to bring the county together, and to recognize our differences and at the same time work together on the many things in which we are in agreement,” he said.