Paladino Accused of Not Paying Campaign Workers

March 14, 2011 Updated Mar 14, 2011 at 9:24 PM EDT

By WKBW News

March 14, 2011 Updated Mar 14, 2011 at 9:24 PM EDT

Buffalo (WKBW) After his defeat on election night in the race for New York Governor last November, Carl Paladino vowed that "you have not heard the last of Carl Paladino."

Recent accusations have brought the Buffalo developer back into the spotlight. Paladino is being accused of not paying back money he owes campaign workers. Eyewitness News sat down with Carl Paladino and asked him about the accusations.

"That's a total fabrication. It's an out and out untruth," Paladino said.

Michael Haselswerdt is a Political Science Professor at Canisius College. He says this type of action is not unheard of.

"Politicians are famous for not paying and campaigns are famous for going broke. It's something that you know is part of the landscape," he said.

Paladino's campaign committee, "Paladino for the People," has debts of 6.1 million dollars, according to public records. Most of that is from loans from Paladino himself to his own campaign. But according to the Buffalo News, Paladino owes one hundred and thirty thousand dollars to workers.

"We don't owe anybody anything. There's 5,000 dollars left in the (campaign) account, we paid everybody who should be paid, and we're comfortable with that," Paladino said.

Michael Caputo, Paladino's former campaign manager, tells Eyewitness News that Paladino owes him 38 thousand dollars.

"As to owing Caputo money, absolutely not. We don't owe him a nickel. He was paid very very well," Paladino countered.

Professor Haselswerdt weighed in on the latest controversy, and what it means for the developer.

"I think it's bad for Paladino. You've got people that were semi-loyal to him making these accusations. I'd certainly be careful if I was going to go to work for him," he said.

The next step may end up in the courts, with those claiming they are owed money suing Paladino. But the former candidate for governor says that's fine with him.

"Go ahead, sue me," Paladino said.