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S.L. MAYOR'S `GALA' GROUP MAY BE IN VIOLATION OF LAW

Mayor Deedee Corradini's Gala Committee has poured more than $48,000 into her re-election campaign war chest since August 1993.

However, there exists no public filing of the Gala Committee's financial dealings or its officers, a possible violation of city law.Corradini formed the Gala Committee in 1992 to raise money for such projects as her Late Night Basketball program for city youths. Funds also allegedly paid for miscellaneous expenses like flowers, gifts or travel not charged to the mayor's budget.

Her most recent gala, held March 25 at the City-County Building, brought 650 invited guests who paid $125 per plate.

On Friday, the mayor's office said it had no specific figure on how much money would go to Late Night Basketball, which costs the city about $66,000 a year.

Corradini would not be required to register her Gala Committee if it raised money entirely for youth basketball.

But in August 1993, the group contributed $5,594 to Corradini's campaign committee "Deedee for Mayor." In December, Deedee for Mayor received $42,550 from the Gala Committee, records show.

Corradini said the Mayor's Gala Committee originally funneled its money almost entirely to Late Night Basketball. But this year, she said she told contributors any money left over would go to her re-election campaign fund.

"We checked on this, but apparently did not check hard enough," said Corradini. "I have asked the city attorney (Roger Cutler) to look at it . . . and we will comply with what he tells us to do."

The mayor's office has released a list of nearly 45 companies or corporations that purchased a minimum of one table each, at $1,000 apiece, for the March fund-raising event. The list includes several companies that are doing business with the city.