Saturday, July 11, 2015

Report Spells Trouble for Noble

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.

Stay tuned.


Anonymous said...

Finally...a voice of reason! Very well put, Rich. I hope people understand that Steve may be a nice guy, but not ready at all to be Mayor. It's sad that he doesn't see he's being used by Hoffay & cronies to try to get gallo out of office. I think Hoffay & friends now realize they picked the wrong horse to run in this race, but it's too late now to kick him to the curb! That's why Hoffay got Cahill try and validate his stupid mistake of picking an unqualified candidate to run against a popular incumbent. You are spot on when you say it may very well be politics...but the facts are the facts. Politics is ugly business and you better have thick skin to get in the game. The grants Steve wrote & tried to administer are messed up, the taxpayers will foot the bill, and the voting public has a right to know the truth. PS sorry to hear about your friend.

Anonymous said...

"Popular incumbent "? Look I don't know anything about this grant stuff, but I haven't heard anyone anywhere say anything positive about this mayor in the last 2 years.

Anonymous said...

I read where DiNapoli and Attorney Schneiderman of NYS are always doing audits and finding corruption, ineptitude and theft in local and town municipalities. They prosecute in some instances of double dipping on the taxpayers backs. Is this something we need to bring to Kingston City Hall? It would clear up and clarify if any misdeeds or out right theft concerning the Parks and Rec. dept. I for one would like to see City Hall cleaned up and the "good ole boys" from the past brought to task. Gallo has started this process and I feel this is why he is getting the arrows in his back.( a response to 9:00pm) People do not like change or giving up power. Personally I feel Hoffay is a cancer in local politics as he is motivated by vendetta and power. Not once has he been credited with a good policy decisions in any forms of local government. Maybe climate issues but it was not of his doing. He just voted for the program/policy. The past administration is bringing the charge against Gallo as I feel they have something to hide. Examples are the Salzmann and Rea case. Mismanagement of the KLDC. That culture was allowed to survive and thrive. Along comes Steve Noble who is enmeshed in that and possibly sees this as OK as it has always been sanctioned. Kevin Gilfeather has to also take some blame as he is the superior to Steve Noble. Noble way in over his head being responsible for major grants. Scarey to think he could manage a multi million budget.... Noble is use to writing some small ones that paid his and his wife's salary to have an educational/environmental City Hall. which brings up another issue...If Noble is elected how can his wife continue to be an employee when her husband is her boss.?? Maybe not her immediate supervisor but a boss none the less. Once again this reveals a "family and friends plan" at city hall. One protects the other...Got to stop.

Anonymous said...

Look, I'm not advocating for Noble. Bring in an auditor and have them audit all grants. But thinking that Gallo is the " new blood" reformer is laughable. His brother was mayor. He was corp counsel for the prior administration. He got that job because Sottile was his brothers best friend. He hired his campaign cronies and then fired them when they didn't march in line. He's chest deep in the cronyism.

Anonymous said...

Maybe Gallo knows where the "bodies" are in past misdeeds and mismanagement. After all he was one of the corp counsels to Sottile Administration. I am sure Sottile must have gone to him for advice and counsel on policy/personnel issues. There is the possibility that Sottile didn't listen and did his deeds anyway. Nobody the wiser until now.....
Corp Counsel is now Mayor..... As to firings of campaign cronies..if they screwed on the job or incompetent I would hope a Mayor wouldn't keep them on the payroll which we support with our taxes.

Anonymous said...

Nice guy? Wait til his real skeletons comes out. Not such a Cub Scout

Anonymous said...

11:11 I presume you are talking about Steve Noble?...I too have heard the rumors of skeletons....