State Sen. Jeff Klein, one of the most prolific fund raisers in the state and now one of its most powerful legislators, has accepted more than $150,000 from some donors with felony convictions and others with ties to organized crime, a Press investigation of campaign filings, court filings and news stories has found.
There is no evidence that Mr. Klein granted any favors to his donors in return for their offerings. What is known is these developers have helped Mr. Klein amass one of the largest war chests in the Senate.
As recently as June, Mr. Klein’s campaign committee, New Yorkers for Klein, received $2,500 from Cava Construction, Inc., whose owner and president Carmine Della Cava was convicted of a bid-rigging scheme in the 1990s.
Mr. Klein has received a total of $27,500 from the company since 2005 — approximately 81 percent of the company’s total campaign contributions.
After reporters made him aware of Mr. Della Cava’s criminal past, Mr. Klein said he planned to direct all the money he’s received from Cava Construction to charity.
“In order to ensure that we adhere to the highest standards, New Yorkers for Klein regularly monitors incoming contributions. Now that we are aware of Mr. Della Cava’s conviction, we are directing all of his donations to local Bronx charities,” Eric Soufer, a spokesman for Mr. Klein, said in a statement.
Mr. Della Cava served just over two years of an eight-year sentence in a Pennsylvania federal prison for racketeering, according The New York Times. Before that, he was a driver for a Genovese crime organization boss in the mid-80s, according to The Times.
Mr. Della Cava’s cousin, Vincent Cafaro, a mobster turned informant, identified Mr. Della Cava as a Genovese representative to an organized crime commission that controlled concrete contracts for high-rise construction in Manhattan, according to a New York Times article.