Niagara Gazette

Local News

May 5, 2013

Councilman uses city letterhead to speak in support of convicted drug trafficker

Niagara Gazette — Councilman Charles Walker has used the city seal to speak in support of a convicted drug trafficker who is awaiting sentencing.

Walker penned a character reference letter for Wally Reynolds, a Niagara Falls man who plead guilty to a charge of conspiracy with intent to distribute marijuana in front of U.S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara, on city letterhead.

Walker said he made a mistake and had no ill intentions in using the city letterhead.

"There's no attempt to use the stationary to influence anybody," he explained.

Walker said the thought that his use of the city seal in the letter might be seen as an abuse of power never entered his mind.

"I apologize to the city as a whole," Walker said.

The U.S. Department of Justice responded to questions about the legality of using the letterhead with a two-sentence prepared statement attributed to U.S. Attorney William Hochul Jr.

“Our comments regarding this specific local official will need to wait until the day of the defendant’s sentencing," Hochul said in the statement. "However, as a general rule federal employees are forbidden from using their official title or position in order to attempt to influence an official criminal proceeding.”

Walker is identified as "Councilman, City of Niagara Falls" in the list of character letters. His wife, Linda Walker, also submitted a character reference letter. She is listed as a "family friend."

In his letter Walker writes that he interacted with Reynolds through sports when he was young. Reynolds always "had good manners and sportsmanship."

"And now as a man seeing him with his own family and doing the right thing raising his children and being active in their lives, makes me proud," Walker said in the letter.

Walker goes on to say that Reynolds made bad choices, but that there is "enough foundation" to get him back on the right track.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
Featured Ads
Seasonal Content
House Ads
AP Video
U.S. Paratroopers in Poland, Amid Ukraine Crisis US Reviews Clemency for Certain Inmates Raw: Violence Erupts in Rio Near Olympic Venue Raw: Deadly Bombing in Egypt Raw: What's Inside a Commercial Jet Wheel Well Raw: Obama Arrives in Japan for State Visit Raw: Anti-Obama Activists Fight Manila Police Motels Near Disney Fighting Homeless Problem Michigan Man Sees Thanks to 'bionic Eye' Obama to Oso: We'll Be Here As Long As It Takes Bon Jovi Helps Open Low-income Housing in Philly S.C. Man Apologizes for Naked Walk in Wal-Mart New Country Music Hall of Fame Inductees Named 'Piles' of Bodies in South Sudan Slaughter SCOTUS Hears Tv-over-Internet Case Chief Mate: Crew Told to Escape After Passengers
Opinion
House Ads
Night & Day
Twitter News
Follow us on twitter
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Front page
Poll

Do you think cigarette sales to non-Native American customers should be taxed on reservations?

Yes. Items should be taxed like they are everywhere else.
No, the indian reservations are sovereign land and they are selling them on their land.
Not up to me. Native Americans decide the rules on their land.
Don't care. Smoking isn't good for you.
     View Results