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Ex-NYPD deputy inspector sentenced in Mayor Adams campaign straw donor scheme

Molly Crane-Newman, New York Daily News on

Published in News & Features

NEW YORK — A former NYPD deputy inspector who was friendly with Mayor Eric Adams was sentenced to community service Tuesday for his ringleader role in a straw donor scheme that gamed the system to boost the mayor’s 2021 City Hall run and curry political favors.

Dwayne Montgomery, 64, received 200 hours of community service — which he agreed to with prosecutors before he pleaded guilty to misdemeanor-level conspiracy in February — and a $500 fine. He’s already completed 42 hours with BKLYN Combine, a community organization that provides social support programs to Black teens and young adults citywide.

Per the terms of his plea deal, Montgomery is prohibited from hosting political fundraisers or soliciting contributions on behalf of any campaign for a year.

The retired cop who overlapped with Adams at the police department is one of three men who’ve admitted to illegally donating and directing others to contribute to Adams’ 2021 mayoral campaign in an elaborate straw donor scheme between August 2020 and November 2021. Shamsuddin Riza, Millicent Redick and Ronald Peek remain charged with conspiracy, attempted grand larceny, and related offenses. They deny wrongdoing.

A spokesman for Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg declined to comment.

The cash funneled to Adams’ campaign in others’ names triggered a major injection of cash from a program by the city’s Campaign Finance Board that matches donations of up to $250 by eight to one, allowing the scheme’s architects to subvert caps on how much they could donate. Montgomery, who organized and hosted more than one fundraiser for Adams, reimbursed straw donors who falsely certified they were contributing of their own volition, according to court docs.

 

Last month, Shahid Mushtaq and Yahya Mushtaq, two brothers who own Queens construction firm EcoSafety Consultants, were sentenced to 35 hours of community service and ordered to pay modest fines in a deferred prosecution agreement with the DA’s office. Both pleaded guilty to related offenses in October along with their company and are cooperating in an investigation examining the straw donor scheme, the New York Daily News previously reported.

Prosecutors say Montgomery, the Mushtaqs, and others hoped to leverage the donations to score money-making contracts once Adams took office.

Reached for comment, Montgomery’s lawyer, Anthony Ricco, said he was not cooperating in the broader probe and pushed back on the allegations that his client participated in the scheme with the expectation that he’d be reimbursed with Adams’ influence.

“This indictment didn’t happen until the mayor had been in office almost 18 months,” Ricco said, noting Montgomery wasn’t accused of soliciting favors in that time.

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