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Ex-Treasurer Arrested

by Melissa Bailey | Sep 21, 2012 3:07 pm

(18) Comments | Commenting has been closed | E-mail the Author

Posted to: Politics

Thomas MacMillan File Photo Four years after Gary Holder-Winfield won his first election to the state legislature, the state Friday arrested his treasurer for allegedly pilfering thousands of dollars from his campaign.

Sandra McKinnie (pictured), 49, of Fountain Street, was arrested Friday and charged with stealing $4,270 from Holder-Winfield’s 2008 campaign for state representative, according to Chief State’s Attorney spokesman Mark Dupuis.

She was charged with one count of “first-degree larceny by defrauding a public community” and two counts of violating campaign finance laws, Dupuis said. She surrendered Friday afternoon to inspectors from the Office of the Chief State’s Attorney at the North Haven Police Department, he said.

Click here to read the arrest warrant application.

The arrest came as the result of an audit by the State Elections Enforcement Commission (SEEC), according to Dupuis.

Dupuis said the audit found “$4,270 in cash transactions that were not accounted for.”

The 43 transactions took place between August 12, 2008 and October 28, 2008, Dupuis said. Ms. McKinnie was “the only signatory on the account,” he said.

Paul Bass File Photo Reached Friday, Holder-Winfield said he had at the time been unaware of the problem and has worked with the SEEC over the last three years to try to clear it up.

The campaign received about $25,000 from the state’s public campaign financing program in July 2008, according to Dupuis.

Larceny in the First Degree by Defrauding a Public Community is a felony carrying a maximum prison term of 20 years. The campaign finance law violations are felonies punishable by up to five years in prison on each count.

The SEEC eventually took the case to the chief state’s attorney’s office. Inspectors from the Financial Crimes Bureau in the Office of the Chief State’s Attorney arrested her Friday and released her on a promise to appear in state Superior Court on Elm Street on Oct. 2, according to Dupuis.

McKinnie could not be reached for this story. The arrest warrant quotes her as admitting “I wasn’t diligent” about the treasurer job, and as saying she hadn’t read the government manual outlining her responsibilities. She described herself as the campaign “piss girl.”

McKinnie told investigators she had kept the financial records from the campaign for a “length of time,” but she was unable to find them. When confronted with information about $4,270 in missing ATM withdrawals, McKinnie told an investigator she did not use the funds for personal reasons or for any reason other than the campaign. However, she refused to issue a written statement attesting to that claim, according to the arrest warrant affidavit.


Paul Bass contributed reporting.

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posted by: Threefifths on September 21, 2012  4:05pm

The crooked two party system at work.Keep voting them in.

posted by: DownTownNewHaven on September 21, 2012  6:03pm

This reflects poorly on Rep Holder-Winfield’s judgment.

posted by: HhE on September 21, 2012  7:14pm

I still support Rep. Holder-Winfield.

(Honest and honorable are easier to swindle since they are naturally trusting of other people.)

posted by: Threefifths on September 21, 2012  9:29pm

posted by: HhE on September 21, 2012 7:14pm

I still support Rep. Holder-Winfield.

(Honest and honorable are easier to swindle since they are naturally trusting of other people.)

Money and corruption are ruining the land, crooked politicians betray the working man, pocketing the profits and treating us like sheep, and we’re tired of hearing promises that we know they’ll never keep.
Ray Davies

posted by: HhE on September 22, 2012  12:04pm

Threefifths, nice rhyme you got from someone else, but there is nothing in it that, or the NHI, that says Gary is corrupt, just that his campaign treasurer might be.

posted by: Greg Morehead on September 22, 2012  4:27pm

Whoaa!!
Having known Sandra and have been friends with her, everyone is innocent until proven guilty.  The state should look into other people that worked on other campaigns as well.  Other’s have done more blatant things that were more out in the open(not saying this should be swept under the carpet), but I can name a few people that worked on campaigns in the past that SHOULD have been investigated.  Things like that make me scratch my head. I’m just sayin!

posted by: cedarhillresident! on September 22, 2012  5:11pm

I to support Gary. I do not always agree with him on everything but I think he has an honesty and presents that is needed in Hartford.

@downtown not really sure what this has to do with the man. This campaine was an amazing one by a new comer Gary. If Gary did not win BLANGO would of been up there!!!!! His campaign was a major victory for the people that live in new haven not just his district.

As far as this case goes I personally will wait till the investigation is done.

posted by: DownTownNewHaven on September 22, 2012  8:49pm

HhE-
I have no question that he is honest and honorable. However as a state lawmaker we should be setting the bar just a tiny bit higher. Hartford has plenty of lobbyist who make their living spinning BS into legislative gold. Easy to swindle plus legislating equals disaster.

posted by: RCguy on September 22, 2012  10:09pm

She probably just lost a few receipts related to the campaign.

This is not that big of a deal.

posted by: Threefifths on September 22, 2012  10:39pm

Keep voting them in.

Son: “Daddy, I have to write a special report for school, but I don’t know what Politics is.”

Father: “Well, let’s take our home as an example. I am the bread-winner, so let’s call me Capitalism. Your Mum is the administrator of money, so we’ll call her Government. We take care of your need, so let’s call you The People. We’ll call the maid the Working Class and your brother we can call The Futur
e. Do you understand son?”

Son: “I’m not really sure, Dad. I’ll have to think about it.”
The next morning he reported to his father.

Son: “Dad, now I think I understand what Politics is.”

Father: “Good son! Can you explain it to me in your own words?”

Son: “Well Dad, while Capitalism is screwing the Working Class, Government is sound asleep, the People are being completely ignored and the Future is full of Shxxt.”

Application Form For Politicians.

1. Name of Candidate : _______________________

2. Present Address
(i) Name of Jail : _______________________
(ii) Cell Number

posted by: HhE on September 22, 2012  11:16pm

I do not know Ms. McKinnie.  I do believe in the idea and ideal that she is innocent until proven legally guilty.  She may well be morally not guilty as well.  My mother served as a Treasurer for a friends campaign, and even with impeachable integrity and exceptional attention to detail, she found the role stressful given the risks of a mistake and the severe penalties.

Threefifths, it it your position that any elected official or person involved in politics is a priori corrupt?

posted by: Threefifths on September 23, 2012  10:07am

posted by: HHS on September 22, 2012 11:16pm

I do not know Ms. McKinnie.  I do believe in the idea and ideal that she is innocent until proven legally guilty.  She may well be morally not guilty as well

You need to read what she said.

The arrest warrant quotes her as admitting “I wasn’t diligent” about the treasurer job, and as saying she hadn’t read the government manual outlining her responsibilities. She described herself as the campaign “piss girl.”

McKinnie told investigators she had kept the financial records from the campaign for a “length of time,” but she was unable to find them. When confronted with information about $4,270 in missing ATM withdrawals, McKinnie told an investigator she did not use the funds for personal reasons or for any reason other than the campaign. However, she refused to issue a written statement attesting to that claim, according to the arrest warrant affidavit.

You do not smell the Mackerel.Aks your self this how come the records are always lost or can not be found?Give me a break.People do not always agree with me,But I bet you they argee with me on this.In fact if a jury read her statement she would be done.Also were is her lawyer? In politics when it comes to money missing they are always guilty.

Threefifths, it it your position that any elected official or person involved in politics is a priori corrupt?

Aristotle was claiming that no one is born immoral it is our choices that we make after birth that make us either moral or immoral. He also said that external factors will later corrupt man.

Power attracts the corruptible. Suspect any who seek it.”
― Frank Herbert,

posted by: anonymous on September 23, 2012  12:11pm

Meanwhile, Mitt Romney is underpaying in what his taxes should be by many millions of dollars each year, just because he is super rich. 

That makes me feel like a sucker much more than someone not accounting for $4,000 in cash from a local campaign.

posted by: robn on September 23, 2012  1:02pm

3/5

Its a mistake to conflate compromise with corruption. Compromise is inherently necessary for one person representing many people. If you always cynically reduce the essence of politics to corruption then there’s no hope for any form of representative government, leaving us with either fascism of anarchy.

posted by: HhE on September 23, 2012  1:29pm

Threefifths, from your response, I take it you are a monarchist, who supports Code Napoleon. 

Yes I tend to be suspicious of people who seek power, but I also recognise that some people who do are truly civic minded people who do not seek personal advantage, nor seek to impose their stamp upon the rest of us.  My sympathies also lie with monarchies when they produce such great leaders as Elizabeth II and King Rama IX, but I’d take a pass on Wilhelm II.

While Code Napoleon’s investigative nature has merit, and in turn tends to produce better historians, I’ll take a pass on guilty until proven innocent.

I certainly disagree with you that she must be guilty.  She may have been tempted, but she may also have just been sloppy.  Not being able to produce records is consistent with both cases. 

Not providing a written statement to the police, especially without having a lawyer present, is just being smart.  I would never give the police a written statement about anything, and I would never agree to a custodial interview.

posted by: Threefifths on September 23, 2012  9:05pm

posted by: robn on September 23, 2012 1:02pm

3/5

Its a mistake to conflate compromise with corruption. Compromise is inherently necessary for one person representing many people.

The problem is those who compromise do so for a price.Surrendered of principles are the most dangerous vandals know to man.It is by compromise that human rights have been abandoned.Even George Washington rejected compromises long ago when he asserted that Parliament “hath no more Right to put their hands into my Pocket, without my consent, than I have to put my hand into yours, for money.

posted by: HhE on September 23, 2012  9:13pm

Amen, anonymous.  Unfortunately, one has the support of the rule of law, while the other is a felony. 

Robn, remind me why we tilt at this windmill?  Is it our love of YouTube links or endless quotes?

posted by: Threefifths on September 23, 2012  9:23pm

posted by: HhE on September 23, 2012 1:29pm

Threefifths, from your response, I take it you are a monarchist, who supports Code Napoleon.

No I am with the major of the american people who are tired of crooks in politics be they politicians or those who work for politicians.The American public elects its politicians to represent their best interest in the halls of government. Unfortunately, the best of ideas can be derailed by the dubious specter of corruption. While our government’s officials are entrusted with a duty to honorably serve, this is not always the case. Politicians are routinely caught with their hands and other things in the cookie jar. Sometimes, they just take the entire jar!

I certainly disagree with you that she must be guilty.  She may have been tempted, but she may also have just been sloppy.  Not being able to produce records is consistent with both cases

Most people I asked about this told me records are kept on hard drives or USB sticks.Keep Drinking the kool-aid.In fact if the major of the american people read this story,They would say the same thing I am saying.

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