Category Archives: Petitiongate

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The allegations of irregularities were originally made shortly after the petitions that put incumbent Supervisor Wes Kennison and town board members Hop Manapol and David Dwyer on the Conservative Party line were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.

Correction to a story you probably haven’t read yet

Point of personal privilege
By Corrin Strong, Editor

The LC News is out today with their report on Monday’s Planning Board meeting by Howard Appell. In it Howard reports that I interrupted a site plan matter to make my protest about FOIL. This makes a good story, one that I’m sure my political opponents will enjoy spreading, it just doesn’t happen to be true.

Because the room was crowded I waited in the hall until the site plan matter was concluded. As I entered the room, I heard Chairman Folts say, “We will now take up the Newman DEIS.” It was at that point that I sought the floor.

Even though I was not in the meeting until then, others had told me in the hall that Folts had agreed to put me on the agenda at the end of the meeting. This was not acceptable to me, because my point was to protest the FOIL violation before the vote, not after it was a done deal.

Fearful that something like this might happen, (I’ve known Howard too long), I e-mailed LC News Editor Mark Gillespie Tuesday morning and asked if I could purchase a political ad on my usual spot on the op-ed page. My intention was to explain my side of what had happened.

I was informed that the newspaper was full and no more ads could be accepted. When I saw the newspaper today I discovered why: there is no op-ed page this week. It’s normal place is taken by a full-page, full-color pro-Lowes ad paid for by our friends from Newman Development!

In other correction matters, the News also printed a letter from District Attorney Tom Moran disputing the quotes attributed to him in last week’s story critical of Judge Patricia Mark’s delay in the appointment of a Special Prosecutor in Petitiongate. Ironically, in the letter, Moran also discloses that there will probably be more delay.

That’s because the Prosecutor appointed, Dale Worrall of the Rochester Law Firm of Harris Beach, will have to withdraw because of a conflict of interest. It is not known when a new prosecutor will be appointed.