You gotta love Charley Walker.
He doesn’t file his campaign disclosure forms for more than a dozen years.
He doesn’t pay his property taxes in the city where he sits as council member for five years.
He doesn’t pay back his loan he borrowed from his union brothers.
And nobody calls him to account.
After the Niagara Falls Reporter broke the story that Walker was years behind on his city, school and county property taxes on his home on 16th St, a figure that amounted to about $12,000 he told the Niagara Gazette that he made arrangements to pay it off and that he only “owes about $4,000 on the property tax bill.”
Frankly this is not very likely to be true.
It might be true that he only owes $4,000 on the city portion of his property taxes. But he perhaps forgot to mention that he owes about $4,000 on school taxes and another $2000 in county taxes.
But Charley says it is only $4,000.
Charley also does not bother to file the legally required campaign disclosure reports with the New York State Board of Elections.
He is the only elected official in Niagara Falls who has failed to do this and he is the longest serving councilmember in Niagara Falls.
It’s not like he is a rookie,
Walker is now in his six term.
Yet he has not filed for almost two decades.
By failing to file disclosure forms, Walker is in violation of New York State lection law14-126 (1): "Any candidate who willfully and knowingly fails to file required forms can be fined $1000 per failure." In addition (EL 14-126(4) provides that a candidate can be charged with a misdemeanor."
But when the Buffalo News asked Walker - on Oct 30, 2013 - - just before Walker's last election - why he was the only council candidate not to file disclosure reports during the 2013 campaign season, Walker said he would "check with the two people helping to manage his campaign about the unfilled paperwork."
On July 29, 2014, the Gazette wrote, "Walker acknowledged that his filings were not up to date when reached by phone …. and said he is working on getting the matter resolved. 'I have to sit down this week or next week to get that figured out'."
Walker then blamed the non-filing on his "campaign treasurer", who he named as Isaac Williams, saying in effect that Williams didn't know how to use a computer to file.
The Reporter, in an Aug. 3 2014 article, revealed that Walker's alleged campaign treasurer, Williams, denied any connection to the councilman's filing difficulties or to Walker's campaign account.
What’s more Williams said he had never been asked to file Walker’s disclosures and that he not only knows how to use a computer, but he is an IT specialist for Unifrax and teaches computer courses.
With constant prodding by the media Walker finally got around to filing a single year of campaign disclosures with the state about a month ago.
He has 18 more years of filings still to go.
In addition to Walker not paying property taxes, a lien was taken on Walker's home because the law firm of Bulan, Chiari, Horwitz and Ilecki had to sue him after he failed to pay a loan he had gotten from his dues-paying union brothers at UAW Local 55 Federal Credit Union in the amount of $5,805.11.
Meantime Walker has voted for five tax increases during the time he has not paid city, school and county taxes on his home on 16th Street.
In the final analysis, you gotta wonder about Charley Walker.
There is not another elected official - no one - who could get away with this.
Suppose it was Glenn Choolokian, or Mayor Dyster or Andy Touma.
Wouldn't there be a howl, a hue and cry?
Suppose it was Andrew Cuomo. They'd be calling for his head.
Why is Walker entitled to a double standard?
Lovability I guess.