Guest Column by Rye Resident Ted Carroll
(PHOTO: Rye Corporation Counsel Kristen Wilson)
NY Penal Law § 175.25 Tampering with Public Records in the First Degree.
A person is guilty of tampering with public records in the first degree when, knowing that he does not have the authority of anyone entitled to grant it, and with intent to defraud, he knowingly removes, mutilates, destroys, conceals, makes a false entry in or falsely alters any record or other written instrument filed with, deposited in, or otherwise constituting a record of a public office or public servant. Tampering with public records in the first degree is a Class D Felony punishable by up to 7 years of incarceration.
If you think the above sounds like a bunch of legal mumbo-jumbo and you happen (like we do) to live in New York State’s infamous “Corridor of Corruption” then you might be tempted to dismiss our so-far 5-part series (click number for story – 1, 2, 3, 4 & 5) on Rye Golf Club’s multi-year illegal turf chemical application practices, records erasures, and the now deeply suspect financial settlement with AIG Insurance for over $2.5 million for the damages inflicted on the club’s greens and fringes in the spring of 2015. After all, to date we’ve used public records to debunk all of The Sack Administration’s bold public uber-lies about ‘no employee negligence’ and the Rye Golf superintendent “doing everything right” and yet no fleet of black government SUV’s have arrived to surround Rye City Hall.
Maybe the fix is in. Or maybe these things just take time. Either way we just wanted to set the stage above as we promised MyRye readers a series installment on Rye’s improper turf chemical purchasing practices despite the continued improper stonewalling of our Freedom of Information requests for superintendent Chip Lafferty’s public business emails with chemical suppliers and distributors. And since we’re blocked from seeing them by the chief city records keeper / decider / suppressor Kristen Wilson, Esq, we naturally were determined to deliver anyway. And from what better source than from The Sack Administration’s own semi-official house organ, The Rye City Review.
Remember please that the largest fraud in city history was the result of a circumvention of city internal financial controls allowing a senior city employee to set up a series of shell companies without written contracts or rate sheets and set up his operations on an unopposed no-bid basis all under the watchful eyes of our local public officials. These would be the very same now circumvented city internal financial controls I once personally reviewed and tested at city hall as a junior auditor working summers for a solid former local independent accounting firm known as Hogenauer, Kelly & Ploss, CPA’s.
Purchasing policy is an integral part of internal financial controls as are bidding procedures and state law compliance checks. Yet three full years after the largest fraud in city history was uncovered by club members and local residents, Rye City Hall on September 25, 2015 awoke to this not-so-gentle cover story on the Rye City Review:
Not only is a lax purchasing protocol partially to blame for the contaminated fungicide that was used at The Rye Golf Club, but the Review has learned that the entire city has not been following state bidding regulations.”
Other municipal managerial lowlights from the article (copy attached) include:
– Failure to follow proper municipal purchasing policy
– Failure to follow proper competitive bidding procedures
– Failure to follow municipal law
Need we say any more? Are there any further questions as to why Ms. Wilson, Esq. might be withholding multiple years of Mr. Lafferty’s email correspondence with turf chemical suppliers and distributors from Rye residents except perhaps that she is also Mr. Lafferty’s personal lawyer and advocate?
And lastly, with all the solid work Rye City Review reporter Jackson Chen put into this cover story it's truly a shame it had to be deleted from the Rye City Review servers a week or so ago just as I was getting ready to link to it for this Series Part 6. Mr. Chen deserves a better testament to his work. But then Joe Sack & Terry McCartney are running for reelection this fall and uncomfortable truths about their time at city hall – perhaps like themselves – apparently need to disappear.
Next Up – Club Members Reject Tainted Settlement Bait, Sue.
Ted Carroll is a lifelong Rye resident, a Certified Public Accountant, and a partner at Noson Lawen Partners, a media industry private equity firm.
See Carroll’s other recent MyRye.com commentaries here: