One of Sampson’s campaign donors is a mob associate


By Aaron Short and Bruce Golding

At least one major contributor doesn’t care that Brooklyn state Sen. John Sampson is running for re-election while facing corruption charges — a former legal client with ties to the mob, The Post has learned.
Election records show the pol’s dwindling list of donors includes reputed Gambino crime-family associate George Fortunato, who last month gave $10,500.
According to the Democrat’s latest campaign filing, the Brooklyn businessman provided more than 90 percent of the funds raised between July 15 and Aug. 4.
The next-largest contribution — $500 — was from lobbyist Stacey Rowland, who joined Sampson on a 2011 junket to South Korea.
Sampson described Fortunato, 72, as a “close family friend” and declined to comment further. Campaign treasurer Bernard Alter said Sampson had solicited the contribution.
“He’s a nice guy. He likes the senator. Thank God,” Alter said of Fortunato.
Sampson is also under indictment in Brooklyn federal court, where he’s charged with a litany of crimes, including allegedly embezzling $440,000.
Fortunato, of Mill Basin, has been a Sampson supporter since at least 1999.
Sampson was his defense lawyer after he was busted on hate-crime charges in a 2003 attack on a Chinese woman in a Queens restaurant. Fortunato’s wife, Jackie, and a daughter, Annamarie, were also arrested.
Charges against Annamarie were dropped. George and Jackie pleaded guilty to assault in a deal that spared them prison in exchange for taking racial-sensitivity and anger-management classes.
Also in 2003, Fortunato was identified as an unindicted co-conspirator in an extortion plot that figured in the racketeering trial of ex-Gambino boss Peter Gotti.
Law-enforcement sources said he is considered a “dormant” Gambino associate and not under investigation.
Fortunato didn’t return requests for comment.