Questions over campaign cash donations from Niagara Councilman

Local News

Niagara Council Member David Rivera wants answers about an unauthorized campaign cash donation. 

He discovered this week his treasurer donated  five-thousand dollars to Erie County Clerk Mickey Kearns, a Democrat running as a Republican. 

But Rivera says, he never approved that cash donation. 

Rivera says he will normally give  $25 or $50 dollars in donations: But never five thousand dollars. 

He says that’s a huge amount of money for a local council member. In fact, it’s a massive portion of his annual fundraising budget. 

Rivera tells us his longtime campaign treasurer, Edwin Martinez signed off on the check and the donation last month. 

Rivera says he has signed every check stemming from his campaign account. But, this one has Martinez’ signature on it. 

He says he has reached out to his longtime friend and treasurer for an explanation, but he hasn’t heard back. 

He only found out about the check through Mickey Kearns July filings report made public through the New York State Board of Elections. 

The mystery donation has been returned to Rivera by Kearns. Now, Rivera says he is compiling the necessary documents for the District Attorney’s Office, to see if he can press criminal charges. 

He said, “That money was taken out of my account by Edwin Martinez, and forwarded to Mickey Kearns account without my consent and permission. He has a responsibility a fiduciary responsibility to my campaign and to myself. I wanted to be reimbursed and made whole that’s why I called Mickey and he refunded me the $5 thousand dollars. He did the right thing. Why Edwin would send Mickey that money, I don’t know.”

The District Attorney’s Offices says the Rivera campaign reported the cash complaint to his office and they confirm they are looking into the matter. 

Mickey Kearns confirms with us he immediately returned the donation after speaking with Rivera. 

We’ve reached out to Edwin Martinez, but have not yet heard back. 

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