Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Letter in today's Freeman on Public Integrity

Dear Editor:

The recent controversy surrounding the Ulster County Resource Recovery Agency is unrelated to the botched Ulster County Law Enforcement Center project, yet the citizens of this county see again a lack of accountability by the county Legislature.

Worse yet, we see inaction by the district attorney on a matter of public integrity.In the jail debacle, the Legislature immediately conducted a thorough probe and directed the district attorney to present the case to the grand jury.

In the RRA controversy, the District Attorney’s Office is purposefully avoiding the public integrity matter and instead investigating only issues of alleged weapons possession and/or sexual harassment and misconduct.

The citizens of Ulster County deserve better and should demand more. Public integrity should be a priority for our district attorney, even if it means stepping on some political toes. While we await action from the district attorney, our Legislature should conduct an open and thorough probe. Moreover, I agree with the proposal to place administrative responsibility for the RRA in the hands of the county executive.



Anonymous said...

that's a ballsy move. Look at Sennett calling Carnright and the legislature out!

Anonymous said...

It's about time someone else did!! Can't keep blaming disgruntled employees and politics now. When oh when is the AG's office going to come in and investigate. And it should be the feds AG considering it's commerce.

Anonymous said...

The RRA as a pubic authority is another layer of government. The legislature should petition Albany to dissolve the RRA and take over direct control under the Department of Public Works. The RRA has been ripe with political favoritism and lack of transparency for decades. We need direct responsibility through the County Executive and oversight by the legislature. Sennett is right to put pressure on them.

Anonymous said...

Ulster County needs a DA, like Jon Sennett, that will conduct himself much like Andrew Cuomo did when he was Attorney General.

Espada and His Family Siphoned More Than $14 Million Over 5 Years
Espada Packed Board with Family Members and Senate Employees to Rubber Stamp Expenditures

Records, Including Hiring Documents and Time Sheets, Sought on Senate Employees Who Were Also Affiliated with Senate Majority Leader Pedro Espada's Comprehensive Community Development Corporation

1) The taxpayers suffer: According to Cuomo’s suit, Ulster County taxpayers lost a hefty load of money in this scheme. Fritschler was allegedly telling Ulster County lawmakers that some grants were received before they were actually awarded. Some of the grants never moneymaterialized. That means Ulster County was forced to backfill some of the money. Cuomo’s suit says that Ulster County taxpayers subsidized the group and Fritschler’s fraudulant activities by $339,096.

Cuomo's office dove right into the probe to determine if the guv and or Day improperly tried to sway a woman who accused top Paterson aide David Johnson of assaulting her.

State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo's office has been investigating Hevesi, who was taken into custody this morning, for more than three years.

However, as you’ll recall, former Sen. Hiram Monserrate’s colleagues set a precedent when they expelled him in the wake of his conviction on a misdemeaor charge of assaulting his girlfriend.

A jury has found Sen. Kevin Parker guilty of two misdemeanor counts of criminal mischief and he faces up to one year in jail on each count.

Anonymous said...

Sennett is acting like a DA should act. Proactive, aggressive and direct. No pussy footing around the issue or not conveniently leaving out the people in his own party.

The Legislature has the power of subpoena and they should use it in regard to the RRA. They do not have to defer to the DA.

This legislature under Wadnola has been a abysmal failure. They have avoided their duty at every turn.

Carnright has been equally bad. He does not prosecute when he should, he does not investigate when it is warranted and he does nothing to project that would give the public confidence in his office.

Anonymous said...

I am sure that there will be those that try to dismiss this as "politics", just as they tried to dismiss Auerbach's August report that found the Legislature's oversight of the RRA to be lacking.

Auerbach's August report said the Legislature has failed to provide proper oversight such as noticing that audits of the weight tickets to the NSF had not occurred. Political? Only in the eyes of the politicians who were faulted for lack of proper oversight.

The RRA Board has been packed with political cronies who looked the other way while the Director used the RRA money like his own personal piggy bank.

Finally when some objective people were appointed, they caught on to this guy and eventually fired him. The best argument that his supporters could come up with is 1) why didn't they fire him sooner? 2) why didn't give him a second chance or a hearing? 3) why didn't you keep the legislature better informed? because no one told us anything - note, this is after Wadnola was a Board Member in 2008 and 2009. He knew nothing.

Sennett makes absolute sense. There should be an investigation into public funds being used for personal gain. It's not like it hasn't happened before, look at the Lower Esopus, and his use of taxpayer dollars for dinners, etc.

If i'm not mistaken, I think the RRA gave Fritschler a truck.

The taxpayer dollars used to buy Toys R Us gift cards and Hannaford gift cards are enough to warrant the DA looking into the misuse of public funds, and the integrity of the Board Members that looked the other way.

Anonymous said...

Couple of points Sennett hopefully sent that letter to a real paper not just the freeman, also Auerbach is a nice guy but wheres the meet in anything he does. RRA nothing solid a legislature attendance we pay a secretary to do that not the comptroller making 6 numbers.

Anonymous said...

reminds me a bit of Scott Murphy. He has my vote, we need a tough da in this county that is for sure.

Anonymous said...

To P.W. stop with the comments. You know who I am and what I am talking about. Whatever you think you know, you're wrong. I will make you a very famous individual. Hope the new security job with Aaron is going well.

Anonymous said...

Sennett was talking about public intregrity 4 years ago, look at the video.

The guy is bright and has vision.

Anonymous said...

look at Jon's tie on this posting and look over to the right side of the blog and look at Mike Hein's pic. Exact same tie and flag. Are their make-up people the same too?

Anonymous said...

Hein has a blue shirt to match his blue tie. pretty classy

Anonymous said...

2:59 - maybe Hein and Sennett wear each other's clothes!

Anonymous said...

Jeremy: Feel free to start a new subject matter. You can tell I am getting better after surgery...especially after reading Hugh Reynold's attack (AGAIN) on Jean Jacobs in the Times. Here's my letter to the editor. Enough is Enough with that pathetic excuse fir a journalist!

Dear Editor of the Kingston Times:

Some things in Kingston never change. I speak of the nasty vitriol that comes from the writings of Hugh Reynolds. His most recent negative jab at Ms. Jean Jacobs, referring to her as a "perennial loser" speaks more about the content of his own persona than of hers.

For as long as I have known Ms. Jacobs, she puts her heart, soul and passion into TRUTH. Others who name call and disparage her character are threatened by her belief and support of the true purpose of democracy and governance where it belongs;in the hands of "We the People."

Jean is a woman of integrity who does not resort to name calling, which is the hallmark of Hugh Reynold's very existence. Without his catty style of writing he wouldn't have a job. Oh, that reminds me...he used to have another job, but that organization wised up enough to send him packing.

What are YOUR credentials for public service, Mr. Reynolds? Ms. Jacobs has spent thirty years volunteering thousands of hours for schools, the city of Kingston and countless other organizations. She is an amazing mother whose oldest son is in charge of the Security on Air Force One for the President of the United States of America! Wherever you see President Obama, there is her son next to him, saluting, protecting him and putting his own life on the line. Yes, Mr. Reynolds, what a "perennial loser" that American hero must have for a mother!

What do you do, Mr. Reynolds? What honor does your family bring to you? What honor do you bring to your family? When I lived in Kingston, you were the epitome of all I found offensive. You reveled in the small minded, petty, vicious gossip swirling around a small town in a poor attempt to cover the "good ol boys" and their games that are finally coming home to roost.

You used to attack me without provocation, as well, Mr. Reynolds. I used to take pity on you and your insults, distortions and lies, even though I found them painful. Let me say that your nasty fodder made me stronger. I've sung for the President of the United States live at the Kennedy Center Honors, sung for officials at the Russian and Belgian Embassies, performed each year on national television on the 4th of July with legends like Aretha Franklin and Gladys Knight. And I worked personally on the governor's race in Maryland along the side if Governor Giuliani.

Yes, I used to be the butt of your vicious comments, just as Ms. Jacobs continues to be. However, that gives me great hope for her success, because the real "perennial loser" here is you, Mr. Reynolds. You are who you are. A gossip monger who has stood still over time, while the rest of us you proclaimed as "losers", have gone on to build a life. You might try it sometime.


Jolie Dunham