BY MIKE MADIGAN
Is there a much larger scandal buried in the details of Senator Marc Panepinto‘s sentencing? United States Attorney JP Kennedy‘s office alleged, and Panepinto pled, that bribe funds and a government job were offered, and were to be funded in whole or in part by “an Act of Congress”.
The United States Congress has a slush fund for covering-up sexual harassment cases — a fund that, historically, has lacked accountability and transparency. The fund was established by the Congressional Accountability Act of 1995.
Is it possible that Panepinto’s illegal bribe — offered to silence a females staffer whom Panepinto sexually harassed — would come from the Congressional Accountability Act slush fund? This slush fund was set up to cover up misdeeds similar to Panepinto’s. It has been assumed that those funds could only be used by members of the House of Representatives or the Senate.
Did Panepinto arrange — as is being widely speculated among Republican political operatives — with a local congressman to secure funding for the arrangement?
If the rumors are true — that a sitting State Senator would be allowed access to these federal monies to conceal allegations against a state legislator — it could shake the Congress and intangle one of Western New York’s most powerful elected officials.
Mike Madigan is a member of the Grand Island Town Board and is a former Republican nominee for the United States House of Representatives.