A candidate for a New York Senate seat created at least $2 million in fictitious client bills, falsified expenses and forged the signatures of federal judges on phony court documents, his former law firm said in a lawsuit Tuesday.
It was not immediately clear how the accusations would affect the campaign of Long Island Democrat David Denenberg, who has served as a Nassau County legislator since 1999. He is running against Republican Michael Venditto, also a Nassau legislator.
New York Democrats were hoping to pick up the Senate seat in an effort to get majority control of the legislative chamber. The position was vacated when Republican Sen. Charles Fuschillo resigned.
Telephone messages left at Denenberg’s district office and his campaign office, and an email to his campaign committee were not immediately returned. Senate Democratic Conference spokesman Mike Murphy declined to comment and Nassau County Democratic leader Jay Jacobs did not immediately return a telephone call for comment.
“This will certainly hurt Denenberg,” Democratic strategist Hank Sheinkopf said. “It makes him look incompetent and corrupt at the same time. Democrats in Albany have been perceived as both inept and corrupt over the years, so this does not help him at all.”
The law firm Davidoff Hutcher & Citron filed the lawsuit in state Supreme Court in Manhattan. It told the Daily News, which first reported on the complaint, that the firm also referred the matter to the prosecutor.