Wednesday night's City Council meeting quickly morphed into a Republican circus, making up in entertainment value what it lacked in accountability.
As the embattled Republicans circled the wagons at the City Council meeting, GOP Chair Tom Casey rode to the rescue. Unfortunately his stallion pulled up lame and his Colt fired blanks.
For those unfortunate enough to be hampered with a college education and analytical skills more sophisticated than a spider crab, Casey's argument may sound confusing.
In defense of the three public servants at issue, Casey had this to say in front of a speechless City Council meeting crowd:
Republican City Chairman Tom Casey said even if the allegations are true, then the employees "only owe the city $5 or $6." "The Democrats did not mind Bob (Mirch) and the way he plays when he was a Democrat," Casey said. "Appointed political employees are not expected or coerced into doing political work. They want to because they know if the other party wins, they are out of a job." - The Record
First of all, Tom, closed head injuries can be very serious. We'd have that checked out.
Secondly, we're not on a reimbursement plan, here. You don't take a city car to Chicago and just cut a check. The essence of the allegations are that three city appointees used city property and city time to defraud the voters in order to influence an election.
Casey is not only a GOP officer, he's also a city employee with intimate knowledge of ethics violations.
§ 43-6. Political party officers.
B. No political party officer shall be employed by the City of Troy. Any offer of employment with the City which is tendered to a person who is a political party officer shall be made in writing and shall contain a requirement that resignation from such political party office is a condition precedent to the effectiveness of such offer of employment. Prior to commencement of such employment, the appointing authority must file a copy of such offer of employment together with a copy of such letter of resignation from party office with the City Clerk.
Of course, buried in that Ethics Code is this little number.
§ 43-10. Penalties for offenses.
A. Disciplinary action. Any officer or employee of the City of Troy who engages in any action that violates any provision of this chapter may be warned, reprimanded, suspended or removed from office or employment, or be subject to any other sanction authorized by law or collective bargaining agreement, by the appointing authority or person or body authorized by law to impose such sanctions. A waning, reprimand, suspension, removal, or other authorized sanction may be imposed in addition to any other penalty contained in this chapter or in any other provision of law.
B. Civil fine. Any officer or employee of the City of Troy who violates any provision of this chapter may be subject to a civil fine, in a reasonable amount, of up to $1,000 for each violation. A civil fine may be imposed in addition to any other penalty contained in any other provision of law or in this chapter.
C. Misdemeanor. Any person, whether or not an officer or employee of the City of Troy, who intentionally or knowingly violates any provision of this chapter shall be guilty of a Class A misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, if a municipal officer or employee, shall forfeit his or her municipal office or employment; provided, however, that a criminal violation of § 43-7 of this chapter shall also require proof of intent to deceive.
And yes, before you ask, the use of city property for personal use is a violation of the Ethics Code.
In all fairness, Mr. Casey may be unaware of the Ethics Code. After all, there's no requirement for Ethics Board members, such as Mr. Casey, to actually read the ethics rules.
That'll be $6, Tom.
It's not just the GOP that's ethically challenged. A full-blown Tscandalnami is now rocking the Democrats.
The accusations have also drawn counterclaims about ethics from city Republicans. Mirch distributed a news release from Republican Councilman Mark Wojcik asking for an investigation of a vote by Campana that transferred a parcel on Third Street to the Red Front restaurant where Campana's wife works. The entire City Council voted 9 to 0 on Sept. 7, 2006, for the transfer. - Albany Times Union
According to sources, Mr. Campana was at the apex of a brazen conspiracy. Mrs. Campana works for the Red Front. The Red Front wanted to expand to add a deck. Campana agreed to be the all-important 9th vote on the land transfer vote in exchange for his wife getting a job she already had. Camapana has also, allegedly, ordered pizza from the Red Front via (you guessed it) telephone.
It's also alleged that since the deck will mean more tables, Mrs. Campana has been studying speed-waitressing so she can cover more tables during her shift to increase her tips.
Campana's actions in support of a local business violated the following sections of the Ethic Code:
Lets be honest. This was just the GOP's third attempt deflect the Intimigate allegations and just as laughable as the others. How laughable? Councilman Wojcik apologized to Councilman Campana for the letter. Why would Mark do that? Perhaps because he didn't write the letter. It was written for him. By the same person that whispered sweet-nothings in Tom Casey's ear Wednesday night.
Mr. Wojcik, you may not realize it but you are the elected official. The people of your district voted for you in overwhelming numbers. You do not have to take orders from an appointed political hack. We supported you when you stood firm against introducing sharks to Grafton Lakes. Where has that Mark Wojcik gone?