Republican Accusations Thrown Out: Merrill Gay Vindicated

The State Elections Enforcement Commission has dismissed a complaint filed by New Britain Republicans against 2017 Democratic Mayoral candidate Merrill Gay, saying, “the facts do not support the allegations.”

As the 2017 mayoral election was heating up, Republican Party Chair Anthony Cane filed a complaint with a series accusations that sought to tie Gay with negative publicity associated with a political consultant that Gay’s campaign had briefly hired.

Democrat Merrill Gay. Frank Gerratana photo.

The State Elections Enforcement (SEEC) summarily dismissed much of the Cane’s complaint, saying that, “such allegations, even if true, would not have amounted to violation of Connecticut’s election laws.”

SEEC did, however, investigate Cane’s accusation, “that seven individuals under the age of 18 made contributions to the Merrill for Mayor 2017 candidate committee,” and, “that these individuals were ‘manipulated’ into making these contributions or that these contributions were fraudulent.”

But, even in the case of this accusation, the SEEC said that, it, “upon investigation, found no support for the allegations.”

However Cane’s complaint had caused SEEC to question each of the seven teenagers about contributions that they had made to Gay’s campaign. Each of the youth’s contributions was less than thirty dollars.

Minors are permitted to make election contributions of up to $30, as long as they they come from their own funds.

In its investigation, SEEC determined that, “All of the minors, who were of high school age, stated that they had voluntarily made contributions of less than thirty dollars and confirmed that they had personally completed the contribution certification cards associated with such contributions.”

“These individuals also provided information about the fundraising event where the contributions were collected,” said the SEEC findings, “supporting a finding that they were in attendance.”

SEEC added that, “the minors stated that they provided these contributions voluntarily, from their own personal funds, and that such contributions were made free from any threat or promise.”

“After reviewing relevant financial documentation, including the contribution cards for each individual, and obtaining statements from the minors in question,” the SEEC determined, “there is no evidence to support the allegations in this case.”

The case was dismissed on March 23, 2018.