By Michael Riconda
Orangetown – Orangetown Receiver of Taxes candidate Chris Smith announced his intention to file a formal complaint with the state’s Board of Elections on September 16 to find information he claims was absent from his opponent’s donor report.
Smith filed the complaint with Board of Elections Enforcement Counsel member Elizabeth Hogan. In the complaint, Smith alleges that $3,854 in incumbent Robert Simon’s reported contributions did not come with a listing of names or addresses indicating their source.
The Enforcement Counsel is tasked with researching the alleged violation and bringing it before the state Election Commissioner, who will decide on the merits of the complaint. If the filing is found to be improper, Simon could face fines.
Smith argued the filing shows a failure on Simon’s part to act in a transparent manner, an attribute he said could affect his trustworthiness in the eyes of voters.
“I don’t know who’s giving him money,” Smith explained. “No one knows who has given to Bob’s campaign and I think that’s a disservice to the public.”
As per Smith’s claim, Friends of Bob Simon is listed in the State Board of Elections online financial disclosure records to have received $3,854 in contributions, but no donor names or addresses are listed.
When asked about the filing, Simon shot back at Smith, saying his opponent was “grasping at straws” to discredit him. Simon assured the Times that he had submitted a complete list of donors to the state, fulfilling his obligations.
“We have that on file here and my opponent if he likes to can come view that,” Simon said.
According to Simon, all of the required records are on-hand and the issue was only visible online. He vowed to contact the state Board of Elections and notify them of the situation so it could be rectified.
Smith and Simon have been engaged in a race for the receiver of taxes position, a post which may be abolished if voters decide to do so in an upcoming referendum. Both Smith and Simon support the referendum and the abolition of the office, indicating they would dedicate their four-year term to preparing for the transition.