New special prosecutor vows to continue Petitiongate investigation

Attorney Karl Salzar of Rochester has been appointed as the new Special Prosecutor to look into allegations of illegal conduct in the witnessing of Conservative Party petitions in the Geneseo Town Board race. Salzar replaces attorney Dale Worrall of the Rochester firm of Harris, Beach who had to withdraw because of a conflict of interest.

In an interview in this week’s Livingston County News, Salzar was quoted as saying that he was “proceeding with the investigation.” Salzar would not comment on rumors that the state police in Albany, stung over allegations of being used for political purposes by Gov. Spitzer, had declined to allow local state police to investigate the matter.

The allegations of irregularities were originally made shortly after the petitions that put incumbent Supervisor Wes Kennison and town board members Hop Manapol and David Dwyer on the Conservative Party line were filed in July. A complaint with the Board of Elections was thrown out on a technicality, but a criminal investigation was begun after written complaints were filed with Livingston County District Attorney Tom Moran.

Moran withdrew from the case citing a conflict because the budget for his office is approved by the county Board of Supervisors of which Kennison is a member. Previous coverage of Petitiongate can be found here.

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