The Real Deal New York

Corey Johnson accused of using $8K campaign donation for rent, staffer’s colonoscopy

City is probing a volunteer's donation to the Chelsea council member's 2013 campaign
December 23, 2016 09:30AM

Corey Johnson

Chelsea City Council member Corey Johnson is in the hot seat amid allegations that a campaign volunteer paid for rent, clothes and office supplies during the 2013 election.

City investigators are now looking into a volunteer’s donation of more than $8,000, which was reportedly not recorded as regular campaign donations. At least $1,500 of those funds paid for campaign manger R.J. Jordan’s colonoscopy.

Jordan described that payment as “an agreement made between friends outside of my parameters as Corey’s campaign manager,” he told DNAinfo. “I’ve been poor my whole life, and mostly without insurance, so when [the volunteer] offered to pay for the procedure, I was elated.”

The maximum contribution an individual can make to a City Council candidate running for office is $2,750. Johnson raised $195,851 in the race for Christine Quinn’s former City Council seat, beating civil rights attorney Yetta Kurland in a brutal campaign.

According to the complaint, the volunteer bought dinner and office supplies for Johnson’s staff, paid the rent on Johnson’s apartment and office, and bought the candidate clothing from J. Crew. The volunteer also made a $3,000 donation to the Working Families Party at Johnson’s request.

A Working Families Party spokesman said it was “absurd” to think that the donation resulted in its endorsement of Johnson.

The volunteer told DNAinfo that he gave financial assistance to Johnson because he was impressed by the budding politician.

“We saw somebody that didn’t have much but was aspiring to become great,” the volunteer told DNAinfo. “He seemed very genuine.” [DNAinfo] — E.B. Solomont