September 2, 2004 in Idaho

Report ties Rosellini to ‘Strippergate’ fund scandal

Associated Press
 

SEATTLE – Former Gov. Albert Rosellini personally delivered campaign contributions from a local strip-club operator and associates to then-Councilwoman Judy Nicastro during last year’s Seattle City Council races, according to a published report.

King County prosecutor Norm Maleng has ordered a review of the contributions and the 2003 “Strippergate scandal,” the Seattle Times reported Wednesday.

Prosecutors are looking into whether the contributions prompted Nicastro and two other council members to support a rezone favorable to a strip club operated by Frank Colacurcio Jr.

Nicastro’s campaign treasurer told the Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission that Rosellini collected the campaign checks and gave them to Nicastro, the commission’s interview notes show.

Nicastro confirmed last week that Rosellini delivered contributions on several occasions. Once he handed her at least $17,000 in contributions from Colacurcio Jr. and his allies.

It would not be illegal for Rosellini to collect and deliver checks, the newspaper reported. But the contributions included checks from two women who were illegally reimbursed for their donations by a longtime Colacurcio employee. Both checks had been altered to make them fall within legal limits.

City investigators looking into the matter have been unable to show that Nicastro’s vote in support of the rezone was directly influenced by the money.

Investigators suspected Colacurcio’s father, Frank Colacurcio Sr., 87, was behind a scheme to corrupt public officials, according to documents released by the election commission under public-disclosure laws.

Rosellini, 94, has previously denied any direct role in collecting or soliciting contributions on behalf of the Colacurcios. He says he supported the rezone, encouraged the Colacurcios to get involved in the political process and hosted council fund-raisers that Colacurcio Jr. might have attended.

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