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Friday, December 8, 2017

Desso Wants Full Time Raise

Rumor has it that the Executive Session of the Town Board last night had a couple of items on the agenda. One was Lou Desso's desire for a big pay raise to make town taxpayers pay for his pending loss of his undeserved county job.

The law is tricky in this regard as the budget process requires that salaries be posted in the newspaper when the budget is released. This also insures that voters know before an election what the salary increases, if any, are before they go to the polls.

We'll keep an eye on this as Mr. Desso has proven himself to be greedy when it comes to shaking down folks for contributions and not paying his bills as an alternate means of getting money. Last thing we need is town taxpayers becoming Lou Dess's employer of last resort.

The other pending issue is a search for a new police chief as Chief Durivage will be retiring. We'll keep you informed as events occur.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Town Government Wins Another Prize

North Greenbush town government wins another one for its dedication to its own Ethics Law and its inactive Board of Ethics. As you can see from the chart published in today's Times Union, our town is one of those whose ethics board that either never meets or simply doesn't provide copies of its minutes, if in fact they have any.

It's a perfect toothless tiger, existing on paper to make it seem the town board cares about ethics. And that's the way Lou Desso and his fellow town board members want to keep it. You can read the whole article here.http://www.timesunion.com/local/article/Local-ethics-watchdogs-largely-toothless-12366244.php

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Desso's Trial Day Using "The Ungrateful Defense"

See Times Union article here.
This morning in Rensselaer City Court, Lou Desso finally got his chance to explain why he refuses to pay Moscatiello's Restaurant nearly $7000 from in June 2015 fundraiser. He is seen here walking in front of the court house.

Michael Moscatiello testified first as to the particulars of the unpaid balance. He verified that Desso received in writing a $750 in kind contribution toward the final bill. A copy of Desso's financial report was introduced as evidence in which he acknowledges receipt of that contribution, called "In Kind" as was a copy of the report in which Desso lists a $1300.00 "partial payment" which was the gratuity for the bill.

Nowhere in those reports does Desso ever show a final payment for the bill while acknowledging the $1300.00 was a "partial payment". Moscatiello's testimony included acknowledging to Desso he would cover 50 to 75 people at a fundraiser which was the $750.00 contribution. He also said Desso repeatedly brushed him off with an "I'll take care of you" whenever he brought the unpaid bill up in conversations and contacts.

It was also made clear that State Election Law is a big factor in the outcome since the money is owed by a PAC, Political Action Committee governed by State Election Law. That means Desso has an obligation to report any contribution like this as an In Kind contribution where value is calculated and reported, instead of a financial gift. Desso has to date neither reported the so called contribution on his filings, nor has he accounted for it as an unpaid bill by paying it. He must under the law report the money either as a contribution or a payment. Instead Desso is trying to keep the money and not report it as a contribution in clear violation of the law.

As to Desso's testimony and defense, you might call it "the ungrateful defense". His attorney listed all the "favors" Desso did at Planning or Zoning meetings for the Moscatiello family. Yes, Desso acknowledged appearing before boards he appoints and in essence, let them know how he wants them to vote. So much for independent boards in North Greenbush. At first observers thought his defense was that he did all these favors and that's why he didn't owe anymore money. But as time progressed governmental actions were just some of the "favors " Lou Desso did for Moscatiello. He bought gift cards, sent an investment planner to the restaurant to conduct a seminar, had dinner there many times, patronizing the business and even got the District Attorney's Office to hold a Christmas Party there.

After all this Moscatiello wants his unpaid bill of nearly $7000 to be paid???Can you imagine that? How ungrateful after all he did for Moscatiello! We suppose however, that the attorney was trying to say everything was fine until the friendship soured, then Moscatiello wanted to get paid.

At the end of the trial during summations, Moscatiello's attorney gave the court a print out from the State Board of Elections website detailing how the maximum contribution for a candidate is calculated. It works like this, the number of registered voters in town multiplied by .05 cents. In North Greenbush that's about 8856 voters. Since that amount is under $1000, the maximum amount becomes $1000.00. It matters not whether its a check or in kind contribution. That's the law.

The law REQUIRES every candidate to report every contribution over $100.00. Mr. Desso put the $7000.00 up on his report once this year then deleted it leaving the so called gift UNREPORTED to the State. That's a big violation of the law and it also undercuts his legal defense because if this was legitimate he has failed to report it. So it's either an unpaid bill or a contribution and Desso is reporting neither to the State.

A decision will come in January from Judge Kathleen Robichaud. Until then have some fun looking at Desso's financial reports and more than one contribution over the legal limit recorded for all to see.We found a $1500 one in a snap.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Desso and his Chicken Team!

Maybe the Republican team in North Greenbush is afraid of those big bad Democrats or maybe they just don't want to answer questions. Kind of like they way they run town board meetings, in the dark, fast adjournments when a question might happen they don't want to answer and certainly no cameras if they can help it.
Regardless of the reason they have just failed the most basic test of any candidate for public office, to debate the issues in a public forum designed to be non partisan. The GOP team lead by the fearless collector of campaign contributions and great stiffer of restaurant fundraising bills, Lou Desso has decided not to participate in a candidates forum to be moderated by the League of Women Voters scheduled Monday October 30th at Bloomingrove Church.

So with Halloween the next day after the great retreat from a debate, Lou and his gang have earned their 2017 Halloween Costumes. You can run but you can't hide!
Happy Halloween North Greenbush, Trick or Treat from the GOP!