Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Sottile May Get Away With It

The Kingston Times wrote a story about Sottile's involvement with the Salzmann case, though they did not mention the affidavit allegedly signed by Sottile.

In the article, Mayor Gallo is quoted as follows:

There was an agreement between the prior mayor and the former fire chief to be able to literally take time off, to be paid for time off that he did not earn.   I had no knowledge of that and if I had I would have advised that mayor, ‘What you’re doing is unlawful.' "

The District Attorney confirmed that Sottile had been interviewed during the investigation.  He would not say whether Sottile confirmed Salzmann’s claim that he had been instructed to file the way he did.  

Sottile said that Mayor Gallo’s claim that he had acted unlawfully was “ridiculous.”  However, he refused to discuss the rest of the matter.  Sound like he has been advised to keep quiet??

Now comes the really interesting part.  No charges are being brought against Salzmann for being overpaid as alleged by the report from the State Comptroller.  Instead, the charges relate to subsequent filings.  When Chief Salzmann was asked to explain the discrepancies, he filed new documents in an attempt to hide the truth.  His misdemeanor charges relate only to the later filings.  He is charged with the cover up and not the crime.

The District Attorney was quoted as saying that the improper payments will not be prosecuted.  Apparently, the claims of Salzamann that Sottile authorized him to do it is being accepted as a proper defense.  Put another way, if your boss orders you to file false papers dealing with taxpayer money, this is not a criminal matter in Ulster County.

I have always supported and respected Holly Carnright, but must strongly disagree on this one.  This entire matter should be submitted to a Grand Jury to consider charges against Salzmann, Sottile, and anyone else who either engaged in this conduct or authorized it.  To do nothing sets forth a terrible precedent.  Basically, where a city department head receives payment to which he is not entitled, no criminal prosecution will result in Ulster County so long as the Mayor or other supervisor told him it was okay.  Be careful though.  If you later try to cover up something that is apparently not criminal, then you have committed a crime.  The person who authorized you in the first place never gets prosecuted.

Does any of that sound fair or just??  Should the prior administration get away with this charade?  Those of you who railed against the County Jail prosecution ran by former ADA Schreibman, where is your outrage now?  

I say put this entire matter before the Grand Jury.  Let them hear all of the evidence and testimony.  Let them make a decision.  If they decide to drop it after hearing all of the evidence, fine -- that's our system of justice.  But to do nothing and allow potentially guilty parties to get away with this abuse and waste of taxpayer money is wrong.


Anonymous said...

Maybe the D.A. and the Att General of NY State could look into Senor receiving city funds under false pretence. He isn't a full time resident of the city but yet he receives a paycheck for Aldermen of the 8th. ward. The time for the buck to stop is now!!!!

Anonymous said...

Not to mention those overpayments he was not entitled to could affect the amount of his pension.? Another slap in the face for us taxpayers. I am hoping that carnright will or did make a deal for salzmann to pay back the funds hence he is not being prosecuted for that crime? Will be watching how Rea's case turns out.

Anonymous said...

It's a well know fact that Senor is not living in the City and nothing is being done about it.. But when Chris Burns did the same thing they made him resign. Senor must resign now.,

Anonymous said...

The SA's office is either corrupt or incompetent. Neither is very flattering. He appears to cut "sweetheart" deals to either maintain his precious conviction rate, or cronyism. There are many "decisions" that he will have to explain at the nominating convention

Anonymous said...

Sottile should be hauled in to pay the piper. It is criminal the way he ran the City almost into bankrupcy. It's probably deeper than we will ever know. As for Senor, he isn't living in the City; not even on a part-time basis. He's pretending to represent his ward...