The finances of the Kings County organization are coming under scrutiny as party boss Frank Seddio wrangles with his own fiduciary woes.
For the past four years, Seddio has been fighting Kentucky-based Golden Resources, which owns the Golden Corral chain of restaurants, over $2.2 million the company says Seddio owes them.
Seddio is an investor in several of the chain’s locations in Kentucky, as well as one in New Jersey.
While no one is alleging that Seddio used any money from the party’s coffers to settle his own debts, some have noted that his own financial troubles coincide with the party’s own financial demise.
When Seddio took over the post in 2013, the party had just over $500,000 on hand. Today, the party’s bank account sits at a paltry $32,800.
Shortly after Seddio assumed his current post, the party began racking up never-before-seen expenses, including spending $300,000 to George Arzt Communications to handle the public relations front for the organization.
The party also paid Diana Carone more then a $100,000. Carone is the wife of Frank Carone, who serves as the party’s head legal eagle and just happens to be Seddio’s former law partner.
While no one is accusing Seddio of any wrongdoing, Assemblyman Walter Mosley is calling for an investigation and audit.
“An honest and properly functioning political party is how we ensure that our elected officials are those who hear the concerns of Brooklyn residents and address them,” he said in a statement. “I’m deeply disturbed by recent reports on the party finances, which must be above reproach. We must ensure that our party’s funds are spent responsibly so that we can continue to elect authority driven and thoughtful leaders in an effort to build the strength and unity our party should expect.”
With 1.1 million registered Democrats, the Kings County party is actually one of the most influential in the nation, or should be.
A crowded field of presidential hopefuls on the Democratic side will no doubt be appealing to the borough’s voters to send them to a showdown with President Donald Trump.
And with a mayoral election just around the corner in 2021, the borough will play a huge role in selecting who will replace Mayor Bill de Blasio in Gracie Mansion.
Jessica Thurston, a spokesperson for the reform-minded New Kings Democrats, was quoted in published reports saying the fact that Seddio’s own financial issues “run parallel with the party’s own fiscal irresponsibility” was concerning.
“The party must be financially stable if it is to be a strong voice for the many Brooklynites struggling to make ends meet,” she said in the Post.
There’s a definite movement to push the Brooklyn Democratic Party toward more reform-minded goals. If Seddio can’t right the ship and eventually feels the need to step down, there will be a lot of interested parties looking to fill his spot.