One of Scott Wagner's biggest donors has ties to a 2015 campaign donation violation case

Written by Ed Mahon/The York Daily Record | Jan 31, 2018 6:47 PM

Republican state Senator Scott Wagner of York County. (Robert J. Gurecki -- Daily Times)

(Undated) -- One of Scott Wagner's biggest donors has ties to a 2015 campaign donation violation case.

Wagner's campaign for governor received a $250,000 contribution from York Building Products Co Inc Political Action Committee, based at 950 Smile Way in the York area. David J. Stewart is listed as the committee chairperson on the Pennsylvania Department of State website.

A few years ago, York Building Products got into legal trouble for campaign contributions. So did the head of the business: David J. Stewart.

In 2015, the Pennsylvania Attorney General's Office said Stewart had executives make political campaign contributions in their own names. But those executives were reimbursed from the business, which is a campaign finance violation.

Stewart and York Building Products were both charged with a misdemeanor offense. A criminal complaint against York Building Products identified $94,530 in contributions to federal, state and local races from January 2014 through November 2015.

In 2016, Stewart was accepted into a program that allows first-time, nonviolent offenders to have the charges against them dropped -- if they complete certain requirements. Participating in the program is not an admission of guilt. Stewart had to complete 35 hours of community service.

York Building Products was ordered to pay more than $94,500 in restitution to the Pennsylvania Treasury Department. The company was also fined $5,000.

York Building Products describes itself as one of the nation's largest producers of masonry units.

"From your back yard sandbox to the skyline's tallest building, York Building Products supplies the sand, crushed stone and gravel that make much of modern life possible," the company's website says.

York Building Products is part of a group of businesses that make up The Stewart Companies.

The York Building Products political action committee contributed $250,000 to Wagner's campaign in July 2017. 

Wagner disclosed that campaign contribution as part of an annual campaign finance report for 2017. In the report, Wagner's campaign said it received more than $424,750 from political committees -- more than half of which came from the York Building Products committee.

In the same report, Wagner's campaign for governor said it spent nearly $3 million in 2017 and had an ending cash balance of about $5.9 million.

Wagner loaned several million dollars to his own campaign.

In a news release, Wagner's campaign said he raised donations from more than 3,300 different Pennsylvanians.

Wagner, a York County businessman, was first elected to the state Senate in 2014. He is one of four candidates seeking the Republican nomination to challenge Democratic incumbent Gov. Tom Wolf.

Andrew Romeo, a spokesman for Wagner's campaign, declined to comment for this story. Stewart and other officials with the York Building Products political committee could not be reached for comment.

The campaign finance report also lists individual contributions from a David Stewart with The Stewart Companies.

  • In August 2017, a David Stewart, listed as CEO of Stewart Companies, gave $1,000 to Wagner's campaign.
  • In October 2017, a David Stewart, listed as an executive with The Stewart Companies, gave $400 to Wagner's campaign.

This story comes to us through a partnership between WITF and The York Daily Record

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