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Questions Still Unanswered by the Report

Written By Editor on 11/4/13 | 11/4/13

The Fitzmaurice Report certainly has cleared the air around the Schoharie County Civil Service. It has also brought to light many alleged transgressions headed by a group around Cassandra Ethington.

Still, as bad as Ethington's actions were she was not the only one involved. She was aided by Supervisors such as Tom Murray, Martin Shrederis, Harold Vroman, and Dan Singletary, but she was still just one person in the larger food chain and these Supervisors alone could not seize the entire County government or civil service without a wider net.

How could this happen? How did this happen?

What appears to be unsaid throughout all this is how the mechanisms that placed Cassandra Ethington in charge of so much were created. Now we know how she engineered her takeover of the CHHA transfer and the Health Department, but not other vital questions.

How did Todd Ethington receive the Conservative Party nomination for Sheriff? How could he receive the nomination even when challenged by incumbent Tony Desmond without a caucus or primary?

How did the Conservative Party find the money to bankroll major races across the County? The Party is the third largest but is still paltry in size and scope compared to the Republicans and Democrats. The Conservative Party has bankrolled two County Clerk races, two Sheriff's races, and multiple Supervisor races across the County since 2007. Yes, some of the campaign was paid for by the candidates themselves, but we are talking about thousands and thousands of unaccounted-for dollars.

How did Cassandra Ethington's "reign of terror" stay out of the eyes of the Supervisors for so long? Was there an intentional cover up or did the complaints never reach the top?

How could Cassandra Ethington hire multiple allies-- including Conservative Party Chair Bill Hanson-- and her own mother without a review from the Board of Supervisors?

Who set up and paid for the crooked campaigning in the Town of Jefferson? If Singletary did not-- then who did?

There are even more questions than this and the Schoharie News will do its best to get to the bottom of each one. However, it appears that the Report created more questions than answered them. It appears that the corruption in County government had more strings than from Cassandra Ethington.

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3 comments:

Edward Dumas said...

While all the attention is focused on Ethington, other “gems” in the report are being overlooked. County Planning Director Alicia Terry apparently attempted to control what information was given to the Towns in order to influence the outcome of zoning decisions. In at least one case, she did so to help a developer (who later left the area after facing subpoenas from the State AG) she favored stand a better chance of gaining local approval. When a Planner in her office provided full information to the Town (because of his professionalism and due diligence) he was issued a letter of reprimand by Terry. Terry then instituted a policy requiring the Planners in her office to clear their correspondence with her, so she could control what information was provided to the towns and manipulate the approval process. Terry was also quoted as calling those who opposed a development project “Pinky, commies who want to stand in the way of progress.” Her words reminiscent of the McCarthy area. Disgraceful behavior for any public official that should be the subject of an ethics review.

New York Wildlife Rescue Center said...

I read both reports yesterday and just voted. I thought that "the reports" were a huge waste of taxpayer money. I could think of a long list of things that over $300,000 could have been spent on, if not saved for tax reductions. The petty bickering, bullying and playing politics has to stop at all branches of the local, county, state and federal levels of government. The Board of Supervisors needs to work together in a bipartisan manner that benefits the people that hired them.....the voters and taxpayers of this county. I hope that you all vote today or you have no right to have any opinion. There are less people living in Schoharie County today than there were in 1880. Lets focus on a realistic agenda of reform, get a list of goals that benefit the people that love living here, vote and pay taxes. Stop the nonsense, wasteful spending and drama. Encourage and attract business development and the creation of jobs. Make this county a place where our kids can stay, live and work. If you don't have anything productive to contribute then get off the bandwagon. Fire employees that are not meeting their job descriptions by voting them out of office or following the procedures of the civil service system. Stop the mudslinging, yellow journalism and use your energy for good instead of evil. I have lived in Schoharie County my entire life. When I have students ask me to explain what is going on with "the report" and other things in local politics, I am often ashamed and it is difficult to do in an unbiased manner. Hopefully as they reach voting age they will become educated voters......

randy said...

Mr. Laraway ... In response to your pie in the sky view of the world we now have to live in ...... what vehicle could have been used other than the investigation and subsequent "Report" ?
Many have been complaining that Mrs. Ethington was violating the rules in her own interest and that of her friends for at least four years that I am aware of.
I too am ashamed of what I see going on and ponder what makes our society act like such sheep. There are so many folks that do not pay attention unless they get whacked between the eyes ...... So I am personally delighted with the slash and burn tactics being used ... at least people are starting to be attentive. And many of the targets are way overdue getting what they deserve.

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