PLATTSBURGH — Congressional candidate Matt Doheny says he will keep a donation from a congressman who is being investigated for potential illegal fundraising practices.
Doheny's opponents say he should return the money immediately.
"Matt Doheny owes it to the voters to get rid of this tainted cash immediately or else he is embracing the worst kind of Washington corruption," Josh Schwerin, Northeast press secretary for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, said in a statement.
Democrats are charging that Doheny accepted a $2,000 donation from a political action committee connected to Republican Congressman Michael Grimm, who is reportedly being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The investigation was apparently launched due to reports that Grimm was strong-arming members of a New York City Jewish congregation for donations.
Doheny, a Republican from Watertown, is seeking to unseat incumbent Democrat Bill Owens of Plattsburgh in the 21st District race.
Doheny told the Press-Republican Thursday, during a visit to Plattsburgh, that Grimm has been cleared by the Office of Congressional Ethics, which is an independent watchdog, and that he was keeping the money.
"As far as we are concerned, he has been cleared, and we are moving forward," Doheny said.
While the Office of Congressional Ethics has absolved Grimm, an FBI probe is continuing, according to published reports.
Owens's spokesman Sean Majers declined to comment on the donation question.
According to online reports, Doheny, a former Wall Street investor, had raised $758,365 and spent $245,866 as of June 30, with $520,603 cash on hand.
Owens, an attorney, reportedly had raised $1,317,935 and spent $439,659, with $893,521 cash on hand.
The district covers 12 counties from Lake Ontario in the west to Lake Champlain in the east. It is the fifth-largest Congressional district by area east of the Mississippi River.
Owens defeated Doheny in a close race in 2010.
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