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Politician Arrested for Accepting Illegal Cash Payments to Lobby for MMA in New York

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Photo via Cindy Schultz / Times Union

Halfmoon, New York Supervisor Melinda Wormuth was arrested today on allegations that she accepted cash payments for lobbying in support of MMA. Wormuth allegedly received $7,500, disguised as a “consulting fee” in exchange for lobbying to legalize the sport in the state of New York.

The federal indictment has officially charged her with extortion and making a false statement to FBI agents. All together, this could land her a combined prison sentence of 25 years.

Wormuth reportedly received $2,500 on April 25, $3,000 on June 17, and $2,000 on August 7, from two unidentified individuals involved in the push for MMA legalization in the state.

In May, Wormuth reportedly wrote letters on town letterhead to a state Assemblyman and a Senator, saying that she “strongly urge[s] you to support MMA legislation.”

“Some of my constituents are fans and promoters of MMA and have to travel outside the town of Halfmoon to promote or watch the sport they love,” she added.

Wormuth was allegedly told by a consulting attorney that she could not utilize her public office to lobby for MMA, a fact she lied about to FBI agents.

Wormuth has pleaded not guilty to the charges, and has been released on her own recognizance.

We’ll bring you more details on this case as they’re uncovered.