Monday, February 21, 2011
Stay Lifted-Spain to Pay up.
Spain, Spain, everywhere a Spain...
Town Democrats are enforcing a court order imposed on Jeff Spain for liquidating away the party's checking account in 2008 after he lost control of the town Democratic Committee.
After the decision was announced last June, they gave him time to pay back the more than $3000 he squandered away to various charities in violation of his fiduciary obligations to the committee. He also ignored a written waring from the committee telling him he would be held accountable for misspent funds.
After hearing nothing from him concerning the order, Democrats began to garnish his income. That's when brother Al came to the rescue by apparently getting him a free lawyer to fight the decision with an appeal. To get the free lawyer, Democrats have wondered whether the lawyers payment came in the form of a town job for the non resident who is, with Al Spain's vote, on the payroll as a Deputy Town Attorney. The attorney, Josh Ehrlich, is also on the payroll of the NY State Senate, allowing him to join several others in town hall as a "double dipper". And let's not forget that the Town Board Majority even gave Jeff Spain a paid appointment in town hall on the Planning Board where he pursues his often quoted goal of "tuning RT 4 into another Wolf Road". (See "Into the Fray", an article in Metroland -scroll down after clicking on the link.)
After all the hoopla about demanding his right to appeal, Spain and his attorneys did nothing to perfect the appeal. And why would they? Appeals cost money, filing fees and an expensive transcript of the trial itself would have made an appeal cost as much as the paying the judgment. So the entire exercise turns out to be another mockery of justice, just as the paid town job for his attorney continues to be ignored by the infamous town Ethics Board which has never met even once to consider the merits of the ethics complaint filed against Al Spain for using his elected office to give the attorney a paid job in apparent exchange for providing brother Jeff with free legal representation.
Of course we'll never get to the bottom of the substance of the complaint because Al Spain's appointed Ethics Board has never met and that's just the way Al, Lou Desso and their majority appear to like it.
So after waiting for this crew to file their appeal for more than 120 days, town Democrats have again acted to garnish his income and recover the money Spain owes the committee. After 120 days, the automatic stay of enforcement is lifted, allowing the party to begin enforcement proceedings anew.
The irony in all of this is two fold. It was Jeff Spain and his buddies who were constantly accusing their adversaries in the party of misusing party funds in letters to the editor which were published frequently during his thankfully brief tenure as party chairman. But it is Jeff Spain alone who was found guilty of misappropriating party funds, not by a mock trial held by the loyalists on his party committee to purge their adversaries, but by a judge who listened to the evidence and found Spain had abused his authority after loosing control of the committee.
The second irony, well who'd a guessed that every penny collected and restored to the party's bank account would be put to good use defeating brother Al in the coming election, should he seek re-election. In effect, we might get lucky and see the spectacle of Al Spain's brother financing the campaign to defeat him via the garnished wages being replenished to the party's checking account.
Incidentally we can't help but ask whether appointing an out of town attorney to a town job when so many town residents were available turned out be all that smart after all? Just one more weapon in the voluminous arsenal Democrats have amassed to defeat the Spain Desso team in November.
You can read about the Spain caper in today's Troy Record here. What you won't read is a comment by the Wolf Road Champion or his no charge legal team. They ducked returning calls for comment to the Record.
Posted by The North Greenbush Pipeline at 10:03 AM