NY town official under FBI investigation over pro-MMA lobbying effort

Melinda Wormuth, a New York town supervisor, is under investigation by the FBI for allegedly secretly accepting money to lobby for mixed martial arts legalization in New York.

The seemingly endless fight to get MMA legalized and regulated in New York has taken a new and nasty turn. The Albany Times Union reports:

A federal criminal investigation of Halfmoon (NY) Supervisor Melinda A. Wormuth is probing whether she secretly accepted money for lobbying on behalf of mixed martial arts legislation and whether she or her family received thousands of dollars from a builder with business before the town government.

The information comes from multiple people familiar with the case. They said the FBI is focusing on Wormuth's contact with two Republican state lawmakers - Sen. Kathleen Marchione and Assemblyman James Tedisco - related to a bill that passed the Senate but failed in the Assembly and would have legalized mixed martial arts fighting.

In early May, Wormuth, 46, wrote letters on town letterhead to both Tedisco and Marchione stating she "strongly urge(s) you to support MMA legislation."

When a massive lobbying effort like the one the UFC's parent company Zuffa has been funding in New York lo these many years occurs, a lot of money gets sloshed around. It's not unheard of that not all of it is distributed according to the letter of the law.

This investigation is taking place at the same time that the Culinary Union, the UFC's biggest foe in the NY lobbying fight, is taking a hit in the Nevada media for going too far in their relentless efforts to bash the UFC.

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