The controversy concerning the refusal of councilman Charles Walker to file his campaign reports shows no sign of going away. That's because the councilman shows no interest in filing those reports and putting the controversy to bed.
All three local newspapers have written on the subject and local talk-radio shows have discussed the truant financial reports.
Local activist and Niagara Gazette columnist Ken Hamilton went so far as to propose that the Council consider a resolution requiring "that all city councilpersons either file their campaign financial reports on time or become censured."
Hamilton brought his resolution before the council last week, including Walker who made no comment. All other council members filed their disclosure forms.
Walker has been delinquent since at least 2013 and neglected to file six separate disclosures - each punishable as a misdemeanor. It is not known if Walker filed disclosures for his 2009 campaign.
Last week Walker was scheduled to appear on the Vince Anello radio show where Anello had announced in advance he would ask Walker about his missing campaign disclosures. Walker canceled his appearance.
The Reporter believes Council Chairman Andrew Touma, as leader of the five member council, should strongly suggest to Walker that he should bring his financial reports up to date and become compliant with New York State Election Law by filing those reports.
Touma told the Reporter, "it is a personal matter for Charley."
At some point, the city's law department may wish to check into whether there is a mechanism in place to prevent a council member from serving under a self-inflicted cloud created by ongoing violations of election law.
The purpose of filing campaign disclosures is to give voters an opportunity to see who donates to a candidate and how that candidate spends donated money.
It is a valid and transparent requirement for all candidates. Very few candidates fail to file their reports. We know of none in Niagara County.
This affair is sending a message to voters: that there is one set of election laws for Walker and a totally different set of election laws for all other political candidates across the state.