Senator from the BX used thousands in campaign funds to pay for defense

State Senator Guy Velella (R-Bronx) has been serving the Bronx for more than 30 years. And now the political veteran who serves as the Bronx Republican Party chairman is about to go to trial for bribery.

Velella turned himself in almost two years ago on bribery charges. He is accused of pocketing nearly $140,000 in cash and checks in exchange for steering state contracts and housing subsidies. His case is set to go to trial next month and so far he has spent nearly $400,000 on his defense. The money has come from his campaign funding, which includes donations from private parties.

A spokesperson for Vellela told News 12 The Bronx that everything done up until this point has been legal. And according to the Board of Elections, using campaign funds to pay for a criminal defense when the criminal defense arises out of the campaign or the holding of public office is legal.

Velella has pleaded not guilty to the bribery charges.

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