FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, January 20, 2015
COUNTY EXECUTIVE SHOULD REIMBURSE TAXPAYERS $22,000 FOR MISUSE OF PUBLIC FUNDS —
POUGHKEEPSIE, NY — Democratic officials are demanding County Executive Marc Molinaro refund the nearly $22,000 of taxpayer money he used on a county-wide mailer advertising his November Tele-Town Hall Forum.
“We discovered after the fact that the money spent for his mailing came from the Department of Community and Family Services,” said Elisa Sumner, chairwoman of the county committee.”This administration has slashed millions of dollars from mental hygiene and other health and wellness programs (see page 9 of link below). Family services for Dutchess County residents have been severely impacted by cutbacks. The DCFS had to reduce its hours of public operations. That this department’s limited resources should be appropriated and used for political purposes to sway public opinion is reprehensible.”According to a recent report in the Poughkeepsie Journal, caseworkers in Dutchess have the highest caseload per person in a five county area, and is also well above the state average.
In 2007, during Molinaro’s tenure as an Assemblyman (though he did not vote for it), New York State adopted ethics reform laws which included a prohibition on elected officials from appearing in taxpayer-funded announcements. This did not stop him from placing his picture on the taxpayer funded postcard, and may well be a case for JCOPE (Joint Commission on Public Ethics) or the Attorney General.
“Twenty two thousand may seem like a small amount, but it could be half a year’s salary for a case worker and should have been used as budgeted, for our neediest residents,” concluded Sumner. “We call on the County Executive to reimburse Family Services immediately.”
COUNTY OF DUTCHESS,
Basic Financial Statements, Required
Supplementary Information and
Federal Awards Information
for the Year Ended December 31, 2013 and
Independent Auditors’ Reports (see page 9)
The article that prompted the outrage. See under heading: Report abuse high.