The town highway superintendent was indicted Friday on 44 felony counts for allegedly buying gravel for the town from an illegal mine and submitting false documents to cover it up.
Neil Gardner was indicted by a Rensselaer County grand jury on 22 counts of first-degree offering a false instrument for filing, 10 counts of first-degree falsifying business records and 12 counts of second-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument, all felonies, according to state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo's office. He is also charged with one count of operating a mine without a permit, a misdemeanor.
The real question is, where do those who "operate a mine without a permit" stand in the prison hierarchy? It's our understanding that even if you have a permit you can only operate the mine during daylight hours and someone with a mining license has to be with you.
When will the Attorney General investigate the illegal use of Troy Code Enforcement?
MAYOR TO FOLLOW LAW?
Hold onto your codpieces but Mayor Tutunjian may be following the law.
The City Assessor is, and has been for some time, Tina Dimitriadis. One of the worst kept secrets is that Tina is violating Troy's Residency Laws. The City Assessor has to reside in Troy. Tina does not.
§ 60-5. General requirement.
All employees of the City of Troy, except those expressly exempt by the Public Officers Law of the State of New York, shall be residents of the City of Troy at the time of their employment or shall become residents within 90 days after their employment and shall remain residents of the City of Troy as a condition of their continued employment. Except as hereinafter provided, any employee of the City who does not comply with the mandatory residency requirements of this article shall be subject to immediate termination by the Mayor.
There is an exception:
§ 60-7. Waiver of requirements.
In the event the Mayor shall certify to the City Council that, after a reasonable recruitment period, he/she has been unable to fill a vacancy in any City position covered by this article by appointing a qualified resident of the City or a qualified nonresident who is prepared to become a resident within 90 days of his or her employment, then the Mayor may waive the residency requirements for said position on the grounds of "difficulty of recruitment." Such waiver shall apply to such specific appointment only as certified and waived by the Mayor.
The Mayor has now followed the Waiver Requirement for the City Assessor. An admission that the Administration has not followed the residency law.
These developments are interesting for two reasons:
The issue of Tutunjian appointees violating the law, specifically the residency law, was raised in a recent Metroland article.
"The mayor’s office refused to comment directly when questioned about the residency of its appointments, referring to the accusations as “laughable,” based on the “spotty information” of anonymous blogs."
The position of Assessor may take on greater significance now that the Mayor is contemplating a citywide reassessment (translation: property tax increase) to close a projected 4 million dollar deficit. The argument has always been that the police will take their jobs more seriously if they live in Troy. Should the Assessor be held to the same standard?
We don't really care who fills the Assessor's job. It's just nice to see the Mayor follow the law even if it is hard to believe that the second fastes growing city in the Capital District, the City the entire State is talking about, doesn't have a qualified resident for the position.