Shafran reveals income in Council race

Shafran reveals income in Council race
Photo by Phil Corso
By Joe Anuta

A candidate hoping to fill the spot of embattled City Councilman Dan Halloran (R-Whitestone) released a financial disclosure statement Monday, and two opponents followed suit.

Austin Shafran made between $100,000 and $250,000 working as the vice president of public affairs for the Empire State Development Corp. in 2012, a position he resigned from in January, according to the filing, which is required paperwork for anyone running for office.

He is running against Douglaston attorney John Duane; Flushing urban planning consultant Paul Graziano; party-backed Flushing attorney Paul Vallone; and former Halloran Chief of Staff Chrissy Voskerichian, of Flushing in a Democratic primary for a district covering Little Neck, Bayside, Douglaston, North Flushing, Whitestone, Auburndale and College Point. Republican Dennis Saffran is also in the mix.

“The purpose of this is to pull back the veil of secrecy so voters can see where a candidate’s personal finances are coming from,” he said. Shafran’s form indicated he is a northeast Queens Democratic district leader, but otherwise was mostly blank.

The former spokesman for the state Senate Democrats and Sen. Malcolm Smith (D-Hollis) does not have any outstanding debts, does not own any real estate, does not have any business investments and has no interests in trusts, other beneficial accounts or stocks totaling more than $1,000.

The forms are pored over by the city Conflict of Interest Board, which says the law’s design is to “provide accountability on the part of the public servants, and to help ensure that there are no prohibited conflicts of interest between city employees’ official responsibilities and private interests.”

Two of Shafran’s opponents also released their forms, but the paperwork was not officially due until after TimesLedger’s deadline and others in the field pledged to disclose the information once they are complete.

Vallone made between $106,000 and $135,000 at two family law firms, as a broker at Valley Rock Realty and by collecting court fees, according to the disclosure statement.

He also was past president of the Bayside Whitestone Lions Club, president of the Clinton Democratic Club, a member of Community Board 7, and treasurer of the Astoria Civic Association.

Graziano’s form indicated he worked as a special assistant for state Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside), and earned between $5,000 and $44,000.

He has between $10,000 and $88,000 in debt, according to the form.

Reach reporter Joe Anuta by e-mail at [email protected] or by phone at 718-260-4566.

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