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Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Spain To Hire His Friends Thursday Night?

The agenda of Thursday's 7PM Town Board meeting is out and we'll get to see whether Al Spain recuses himself from a vote to hire his brother's attorney who is apparently providing free legal services in a lawsuit or whether he follows fellow Council member Lou Desso by recusing himself to avoid a conflict of interest.

Spain apparently doesn't get it as Desso has. In itself, that fact is amazing, but the need for him to recuse from a vote where he creates the appearance that he is using his office to reward the lawyer providing free legal services to his brother with a town job is as clear as a bell.

It's remarkable to find Republican Desso and Democrat Spain disagreeing about the need for recusal on such a vote. About the only thing the do see eye to eye on is the danger of appointing an Ethics Board as required by law, to render advisory opinions to Board members regarding such votes. There Desso and Spain agree and for two years they have ignored the statutes requiring them to appoint an Ethics Board.

Dan Ashley, Chairman of the North Greenbush Democratic Committee put it this way in a cartoon.

The pair do not see eye to eye on the need for recusal in this vote even though both have an attorney on the appointment agenda who is providing free legal services to themselves or a close family member. They do however see eye to eye and have their heads in the sand, when it come to the failure to obey the law and appoint an Ethics Board! Imagine how embarrassing it would be for Spain to have an impartial Board tell him what Desso has already figured out! Solution: Don't appoint one and ignore the law requiring it!

We'll have more on the Democratic Chairman's criticisms in the next issue. In the meantime, we'll look forward to Thursday night's follies and its included Chapter of "Al Spain Can Hire His Friends".

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