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Former Dunkirk mayor pleads guilty to misuse of campaign funds

A former mayor of Dunkirk has pleaded guilty in federal court to stealing campaign contributions for personal use. The U.S. Attorney's Office says 85-year-old Richard Frye faces up to 20 years in prison and up to a $250,000 fine for wire fraud.

Frye was mayor of Dunkirk from 2002 to 2012 and, for much of that time, he convinced the owners of a hospitality company and a food production plant to donate to his campaign funds. However, he used that money - totaling over $54,000 - for his own use.

Frye never reported those donations as required of local candidates for public office. Prosecutors say Frey had "substantial personal debt."

Sentencing is scheduled for May 11 before U.S. District Judge Richard Arcara.

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Mark Wozniak, WBFO's local All Things Considered host, has been at WBFO since mid-1978.