The Kingston Times and the Daily Freeman both have online stories about a very damaging report concerning alleged malfeasance by Steve Noble in his capacity as a city employee. Granted, the Freeman is downplaying it and omitted very important facts.
A review of seven grants being worked on by Steve Noble has revealed some damaging lapses which, if not addressed, could leave the city taxpayers financially liable for substantial amounts of money.
Many of the concerns --which are set forth in a 10 page report-- deal with problems documenting time as a "match" for grant money. As an example, Noble claimed 50% of his work time for 2 different grants. This accounts for 100% of his time. Yet, he then claims hundreds more hours for other grants. Translation? He double dipped his time. An audit of these grants would be very problematic.
It is a mathematical impossibility to have performed the work he has claimed on the grants.
There are other factual problems such as claiming projects are finished when they are not and so forth.
The report contends that almost $350,000.00 could be lost due to these errors.
The defense from Noble? He is claiming that he is being targeted because of politics. For sake of argument, let's say that's true. So what? If you run for Mayor, you better expect to be attacked. When I ran for Mayor, I was attacked for anything and everything I did. Some of the attacks against me on the various blogs were obscene and despicable. I never complained about it. It is an unfortunate part of running for such an office. You just have to grin and bear it.
However, even if the microscope is focused on Noble because he is running, it does not explain away his acts. False claims on grant applications is a very serious allegation. To just claim politics without addressing the merits strikes me as a very weak response.
Then, one of Noble's supporters said that if you look at ANY grant, there will be errors. Really? What a wonderful accusation to make. Excuse Noble because all grant writers either lie or make mistakes??!! Wow!!
Now, to spice it up even more, Assembly Kevin Cahill (no relation in blood or politics) is getting into the act. He praised Steve Noble and said what a wonderful guy he is. Of course, he was very careful to note that Noble had nothing to do with a grant that his office obtained. Kevin will praise Noble, but he is not putting his tootsies into the fire.
So, why is Kevin getting involved? Well, there are 2 reasons. First, Kevin has had a feud with the Gallo family going back to when TR Gallo was Mayor.
Second, Tom Hoffay, the one who actually arranged the press release, works for Kevin. As I have noted previously, the entire candidacy of Steve Noble is nothing but a power grab by Tom Hoffay and his flock of magpies.
No question that Hoffay arranged to have Kevin enter the fray to try to give gravitas to Steve Noble. Noble's campaign is hemorrhaging. People around town are basically saying that Steve Noble is not capable of being Mayor. I hear this from Democrats and Republicans alike. People that are backing Noble are doing it because they want Gallo out not because they want Noble in. Just look at some of the other blogs. Nothing but shots at Gallo.
By having Kevin talk well of Noble, it is hoped that people will think more of Noble. This will not work. The truth is that popularity is not something that can be shared or given. Kevin Cahill is popular. As far as I am concerned, he has fooled a great many people. Regardless, he took 60% of the vote last time. Numbers like that do not lie. However, he cannot transfer his popularity to Steve Noble no matter how kindly he speaks of him.
Noble himself thinks that he will be in charge if elected Mayor. I do not think he even realizes that he is being controlled like a marionette. Steve Noble may very well be a nice guy. I don't know him personally. I know his uncle Jim and he is a very likable guy. Whereas Jim is experienced in politics, Steve is not. Steve is over his head big time and Hoffay, Chairman Donaldson, Aldermen Dunn and Will, former Alderman Landi, and so forth are using him to continue their vendetta against Shayne Gallo.
Ultimately, this entire matter could become very seriously very quickly. If the allegations of false statements on grant applications are true, the Attorney General or District Attorney's Office could come a knocking. Then, politics or no, someone will be in deep doo doo.