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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Appointee Resigns Amid Controversy & Criminal Charges

It appears that secrecy is a still invoked policy by the town board majority and some of those they employ. Unfortunately, both the board and their allies are learning the hard way that secrecy is a difficult task to master in a democracy and runs contrary to its principles.

Yesterday the Troy Record reported the arrest of the Board's recently appointed Comptroller on two serious felony charges which occurred on Christmas Day and which were apparently kept secret until just recently. According to the report, on the very day the Town's Assessor was being appointed to a conflicting job as Town Comptroller, he had been arraigned by a Troy judge on the felony charges just hours earlier. That apparently didn't stop Councilman/Legislator Lou Desso from voting to make the newly charged town official the new Comptroller. Imagine how foolish Desso and his colleagues look voting to make someone Town Comptroller just hours after he was arraigned by a judge on two felony charges.

Did they know about the charges and appoint him anyway or did he keep them in the dark as well? These are questions, the answers to which make this town board look totally irresponsible and foolish. They failed to exercise even the most basic due diligence before making the appointment. The reason for their hasty move makes them look even more foolish. It rests in a simple desire to politicize the Comptroller's Office and further isolate the Supervisor in her efforts to serve as the town's elected CFO.

Sometime last week, the controversy surrounding the appointment caused the Assessor to resign as Comptroller. The resignation no doubt embarrassed Lou Desso and Al Spain giving credence to those critical of the move placing both offices under one appointee. The reasons for these criticisms are documented on this blog in various letters to the editor, all of which detail sound reasoned issues which demonstrate the numerous conflicts of interest created by the dual appointment. What they do not do is wallow in "personal attacks" of the appointee. Until yesterday, the resignation, like the arrest, was kept secret.

According to the article announcing the resignation in today's Record, the new Comptroller resigned January 20th after "personal attacks", apparently by both the Supervisor in her letter to the Advertiser of January 13th and letters from members of the Democratic Committee. Again, decide for yourself whether the content of the letters, all of which appear on this blog, contain personal attacks or valid criticism of the situation and the conflicts of interest created by one person holding the two positions simultaneously.

We disagree that the Assessor or any Board member was attacked personally in the letters published in the Record and Advertiser. But we understand their efforts to try to make the actions of those criticized "victims". It's called "attack the messenger" and in this case, the messengers are anyone who criticizes the actions of this board.

“He resigned because he was unwilling to tolerate the actions of a few who attempted to discredit him and hurt his family,” Desso said in today's Record. Horse feathers Mr. Desso! He resigned because you and your majority thoughtlessly and recklessly placed him in a no win situation in your haste to remove a Comptroller who was competent and politicize the office with someone who you felt would be more responsive to your demands. The question, however, is whether you Mr. Desso and your majority were aware of the felony charges when you made the appointment January 4th or whether you just didn't perform due diligence before rushing to put him and the town in an untenable situation. Personal attacks indeed.


Anonymous said...

How come you didn't post the Town Supervisors 24 January column in The Record? Kind of hurts the whole "personal attack" argument you poorly make?

You are correct that a person facing felony charges should have disclosed that fact to the board and never accepted the position.

But you fail to present the whole picture, which you accuse the opposition of doing.

Now go ahead and insert some hateful rhetoric in response to my comment here _________________.

Anonymous said...

You should include the Town Supervisor's 24 January letter in The Record if you want to present the full story.

The North Greenbush Pipeline said...

If you look again under the picture of her letter to the Advertiser, you will see we did post a link to her January 24th column. Run your cursor over the word "here" and click.
Here is the link again:

The North Greenbush Pipeline said...

Hopefully the person who issued the first comment is not disappointed by the lack of "hateful rhetoric" in our response. We don't put hateful rhetoric in this publication and unlike the town board sanctioned blog run by a Conservative Party Committeewoman employed in the Building Department, we do not permit hateful comments on this publication either.
You are always welcomed to place thoughtful comments, suggestions and criticisms and we agree with you concerning the responsibility of a person charged with felonies to disclose this fact to the town board.

Anonymous said...

Funny how the screen shot I saved yesterday didn't have that link, appreciate that it is so "easily" to find now. Still refutes your argument though if the Town Sup acknowledges "personal attacks" don't you think?

Not disappointed at all in the response, did a quick search and found these to satisfy the need:

5 Jan: “In a remarkable display of arrogance, Lou Desso, Al Spain and their two blind faith allies fired the Town Comptroller last night and replaced him with an unqualified political hack, the town assessor.”

6 Dec: “Nice job Mrs. Connolly. Lou would send his congratulations but he's rumored to be in a remedial math class where he's learning the fine points of calculating two thirds of nineteen, the number of votes needed to pass a budget in the county legislature that raises property taxes.(We hear it's 13 Lou!)”

30 Nov: “As this letter published in the Troy Record Friday demonstrates, not all "hijackers" wear turbans. Some prefer the more pretentious variety of head gear worn by royalty.” (Think you insulted Middle Eastern people with this gem)

The truly sad part is we are actually in the same political party with similiar views, I just like to stick to actual issues and leave the mud slinging to people not interested in solving problems.

I also appreciate being able to post my thoughtful comments, but this will be my last. Just wish you would do it shortly after review, not after a day of thinking ways to retort and back post links.

-Fair and Balanced.

The North Greenbush Pipeline said...

The post had the link. The language of the post makes it clear that the intent was to make the post available and for the reader to review it. A screen shot may not distinguish a hyperlink.
We review and publish comments when time permits. Folks are not able to monitor the computer 24-7.
Your opinion that the referenced comments are mudslinging are simply not shared here. Sometimes, words, albeit imperfect descriptors of our images and feelings, are necessary tools to describe the nuances of a given situation or belief.
A personal attack is better described as the use of words with no descernable basis in fact to attack someone. For example our Town Clerk has recently attacked the Supervisor at meetings describing her as "accomplishing nothing" and demanding as a result, that she resign. Clerk Connolly offers nothing in fact to reach this determination or justify her angry outbursts.
The comments above while at times colorful, are backed up with facts.
We can agree to civilly disagee.