Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Follow the Law

Hector Rodriguez of New Paltz submitted a resolution providing a mechanism for removal of the Chairman of the Legislature, that has proven to be nothing more than a cheap political stunt, that sources say he pulled for Minority Leader David Donaldson.

But that is something that Hector is intimately familiar with - political stunts for political allies.

Just a few years ago Hector Rodriguez, a New Paltz Democrat, gave up a $54,000-a-year job as Comptroller Alan Hevesi's Hudson Valley regional representative.

He took the job after working in Hevesi's election campaign and worked in both the New Windsor and Albany offices.

Rodriguez resigned in disgrace after he alledgely faxed political material from the New Windsor office.

"It is absolutely forbidden to use any state facility of any kind for any campaign or political purpose," a representative from Hevisi's office said, "It will not be tolerated."

Dave Donaldson, the leader of the 16 Democrats in the county Legislature, agreed Rodriguez's action was an ethics violation.

But, he said, the comptroller's office has strict standards.

"In many places, it would be a slap on the hand," Donaldson said.

The Democratic leader did not see any impact on Rodriguez's role as a county legislator. He is paid $10,000 a year in that slot.

According to these statements, both Donaldson and Rodriguez seem to be unfamiliar with State Law.

"State officers and employees are often interested in seeking elected political office or volunteering for political campaigns. However, in doing so, they must ensure that they do not violate the law, including the Code of Ethics, contained in Public Officers Law §74.
In general, State officers and employees are charged to pursue a course of conduct that will not raise suspicion among the public that they are likely to be engaged in acts in violation of the public trust."

The advice straight from the NYS Commission on Public Integrity spells it out for those that don't quite understand the "State Law":

"Refrain from using any State resources to aid the campaign. This rule applies to telephones, office supplies, postage, photocopying machines or support staff assistance"

A slap on the hand? Really Dave?

Since both Donaldson and Rodriguez had such difficulty understanding that State Law, it's understandable why they have such trouble understanding the State Law that sets the term of the Chairman of the Legislature.

State Law sets the term of Chairman at one year, and only someone with an ego the size of Rodriguez and Donaldson would think that THEY could change State Law by a resolution of the Ulster County Legislature.

E-mails from Dave Donaldson show that he, A GOVERNMENT TEACHER FOR THE DUTCHESS COUNTY SCHOOLS, doesn't even know basic facts about government.

From Dave Donaldson "I realize that every member of the legislature that has served prior to Langdon and Erika arriving were operating through an ignorance of the rules and now we have been enlightened, but am I to believe that a Chairman of the Legislature can commit a felony and still can't be removed by the body. There has to be methods of removal.

Counsel's response to Donaldson: In response to Minority Leader Donaldson’s question as to whether the conviction of the Chairman of the Legislature of a felony, would permit the removal of the Chairman by the body, the answer is that upon conviction of a felony, the Chairman would forfeit his or her right to public office under the Public Officers Law, Section 30. Action by the County Legislature would not and could not happen because the Chairman would have already been removed by operation of law.

I also note that not just the conviction of a felony can be cause for removal. Any crime which involves a violation of the oath of office can cause removal. That said, the question of criminal convictions is inapplicable due to Public Officers Law, Section 30.

Dave, it's called the oath that you took when you were sworn into office, you can't violate it.

Let's just hope that Donaldson is not teaching Public Officers Law to the school children in Dutchess County.


  1. Hector is a TOOL. an arrogant a-hole a left-wing socialist, loves the WFP & they love him. Case Closed.
    He only got re-elected cause he reps the Village of NP, Venuezuela north,,,

    plus he has bad Body Odor. a sure sign of something besides bad personal habits,,

  2. Cloakroom, you are a welcome addition to the political dialogue. If you have nothing else here, you are causing the attack dog, aka Roben Yess to lower her bark. All of a sudden she is interested in employees doing their job, and her campaign is no longer about the Bernardo's. Wow, good job. Keep the pressure up , as we need to get beyond her brand of hatred and onto serious dialogue. Notice, among other things that her budget meeting went no where. Interesting that the Hein crew is so perfect. When people, including you start to call out both sides, all these blogs will be taken seriously. Until then, she will be nothing but hot air, as well as Roberti etc.

  3. A slap on the hand?

  4. Enough is enough. Robin Yess and her buddies are going too far.