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Home Government Field Guide to Rye Municipal Corruption – 2017 Special Edition. Guest Column...

Field Guide to Rye Municipal Corruption – 2017 Special Edition. Guest Column by Ted Carroll.

By Ted Carroll, Guest Columnist

Greetings summer vacationers. No regular column this month as we spend some time outdoors, meet with local sources and sift new batches of public records for election season.

City of rye

A lot has happened since we wrote our 1st annual Rye municipal corruption Field Guide last August and much of it is good. Most notably, the good people of Protect Residential Rye – over a thousand bi-partisan residents strong – have successfully arrested the railroading through by a GOP council majority of a disfiguring residential zone utility pole wireless antenna scheme bought and paid for by political contributions deposited – and influence peddled – far from Rye.

This is not to suggest at all that real danger has past. Anyone familiar with the tactics of sue & settle knows something awful could still emerge, pre or post election this fall from a short or no-notice city council ‘executive session’ and be swiftly brought to a devastating vote. Those who want your election attention directed to a phony Thruway Playing Field’s “controversy” should instead perhaps save their voter base-energizing bloviating for important things, such as the unchecked final cost attestations by Rye builders that have materially shorted city revenues, leading directly to our 2017 local property tax increase we investigated below.  It’s a simple scheme not entirely unknown here in the Corridor of Corruption.

The GOP is of course far from alone in manufacturing municipal malfeasance for its donors. This fall we’ll have a front row seat to the possible political ascendency of the region’s most powerful Democrat, a Rye resident, ex-city councilman and the biggest direct contribution benefactor of one of our most notorious and still un-investigated Rye building and assessment department pay-for-play scandals – all dutifully documented and reported in this MyRye expose last year. Democrats can’t claim there’s no influence peddling and selective treatment linkage for key contributors at Rye City Hall if they refuse to clean up their own house prior to trying to regain the gavel in Rye and beyond.

And in ‘real news you’ll likely read nowhere else’ department, Hen Island’s man-made Zika virus mosquito breeding vats – 33,000 stagnant gallons strong – are apparently back in max overdrive this summer according to multiple sorely afflicted Rye locals. In the immediately preceding video link you can watch one of the nation’s pre-eminent entomologists, Jeffrey O’Neill, warn about the real and present dangers of Hen Island and ‘The Asian Tiger mosquito” starting at about time code 49:00. You can literally thank every single local elected official you know for this centrally located bipartisan time bomb for expectant mothers and the elderly throughout the Sound Shore Region. They all own it.

So before the traditional platitude-laden fall political advertising bombings begin, let’s enjoy the peace, sit back, hoist a cold beverage and join fellow residents in revisiting things that matter to Rye households, such as the 12-month lowlights we’ve uncovered concerning Rye City municipal corruption:

September 2016 – RYE MAYOR SACK’S SECRET EMAILS – Read story HERE

I know you’re going to be shocked, but all of Mayor Sack’s public business emails and every other public record he wants suppressed are still being suppressed. A corrupt local Judge just made sure this issue is one that will haunt him, her, and multiple Rye administrations for years.

November 2016 – BUILDERS RULE – YOU GET A TAX HIKE. CONSTRUCTION GOES WILD WHILE BUILDING PERMIT REVENUE FALLS – Read story HERE

You really should read this and the following story; it’s a pure resident pocketbook issue. As a member of the city’s former outside audit firm I can say we looked very carefully at this 2nd largest city income source every year and we checked the backup documentation to assure that builders weren’t cheating the city. Now city personnel can’t check those documents and instead must accept a single unverified final cost number from the builders. The revenue trend in our exploding-at-the-seams local building market is therefore not unexpected.

December 2016 – THE BIGGEST LOSERS FROM GAMBLING AT RYE GOLF? RYE TAXPAYERS & THE TRUTH – Read story HERE

We identify the three still unindicted initiators of the Rye accounting system circumvention that resulted in our largest ever multi-million dollar financial fraud. Two are sitting local political party officials desperate and determined that residents and law enforcement don’t see the forensic accounting work done for Rye in 2012-2013 by Breen & Associates, which names them in originating and maintaining the multi-year fraud. Their ‘confidential legal work product’ ruse isn’t holding.

February 2017 – YOUR TAX CONTRIBUTION TO RYE BUILDER WEALTH IS APPRECIATED! – Read story HERE

Yup, for now they’ve gotten away with it. And the two Democrats we elected to the city council in the Fall of 2015 to stop just this kind of thing went right along with the increase in a very polite collaborative consensus type of way. Promises broken are not forgotten.

Rye’s Poisoned Greens – An Exclusive 2017 MyRye.com Investigative Series:

February 2017 – Series Part 1 – CRIME & COVER-UP.

(Rye Officials Cover-Up Employee Admission of Wrongdoing, Records Tampering in Municipal Golf Green’s Fiasco.)

“Just 14 months ago, Rye City Attorney Vincent Toomey stepped up to the microphone at City Hall in December of 2015 and on behalf of the Rye City Council boldly lied to all city residents. This deception begs three initial questions.”  Read all of Part 1 – HERE.

March 2017 –Series Part 2 – RECORDS ERASURES & UNDISCLOSED CONFLICTS.

(Rye Officials Cover-Up Employee Admission of Wrongdoing, Records Tampering in Municipal Golf Green’s Fiasco.)

“The set of official chemical application records Mr. Lafferty kept and provided to the Golf Commission, City Council, City Attorney and the outside turf experts retained by the city to determine causation of death for all 20 green complexes in 2015 showed Mr. Lafferty made four total applications of ALT-70, three of which were made in conflict with the product’s label– a violation of federal law…After Mr. Lafferty’s arrest by the NYS DEC on December 30, 2015 he provided copies of his official chemical application ‘spray charts’ directly to the Rye City Court and the Westchester County District Attorney. These charts, however, indicated that Mr Lafferty applied AmorTech’s ALT-70 on only three occasions, on April 22, May 1st and May 15th 2015, and that only one application was in violation of the law.” Read all of Part 2 – HERE.

March 2017 –Series Part 3 – THEY KNEW.

(Rye Officials Cover-Up Employee Admission of Wrongdoing, Records Tampering in Municipal Golf Green’s Fiasco.)

“BOMBSHELL: Scientific field tests (paid for then hidden by Rye City) reveal NO DAMAGE CAUSED when contaminated batches of ALT 70 were applied at the legal 14-day rate.…Claims Fraud – Includes circumstances where a claimant has fabricated a loss, or has submitted a legitimate loss but intentionally misrepresents the nature or extent of the loss or associated damage.” Read all of Part 3 – HERE.

May 2017 Series Part 4 – AIG LAUNCHES INVESTIGATION INTO CITY INSURANCE SETTLEMENT. 

(Rye Officials Cover-Up Employee Admission of Wrongdoing, Records Tampering in Municipal Golf Green’s Fiasco.)

“Chip Lafferty goes out of his way, not to use chemicals that don’t need to be used.”…”We get awards every year at Rye Golf for being environmentally friendly.” - Rye City Councilman Terry McCarthy from the dais on August 3, 2016 in response to Gannett’s Journal News investigation into pesticide use that featured Rye Golf Club’s greens keeper Mr. Lafferty guilty plea in misusing the registered pesticide that killed the greens the previous spring at Rye Golf Club.” Read all of Part 4 – HERE.

June 2017 – Series Part 5 – A DEADLY PATTERN.

(Rye Officials Cover-Up Employee Admission of Wrongdoing, Records Tampering in Municipal Golf Green’s Fiasco.)

“Rye Golf Course Chemical Application Records Show Massive Illegal Over-application of Registered Pesticides in The Summer of 2014, Less Than A Year Prior to All Greens Being Killed…According to its label, Chipco Signature cannot be applied in daily intervals more frequent than 14 days. Yet during this 52-day period Mr. Lafferty apparently hammered the course with 8 applications of aluminum tris, an average of 1 application every 7 days, or twice the legal limit…2014 NYS DEC Rye Golf Course chemical application records seem to show 3 separate registered EPA & NY State registered turf chemicals being over applied in the year just prior to the death of all Rye’s greens. All 3 are highly toxic to the marine invertebrates present in Milton Harbor.” Read all of Part 5 – HERE.

July 2017 – Series Part 6 – IMPROPER & ILLEGAL TURF CHEMICAL PURCHASING PRACTICES AT RYE GOLF.

(Rye Officials Cover-Up Employee Admission of Wrongdoing, Records Tampering in Municipal Golf Green’s Fiasco.)

From a now digitally expunged prior cover story from 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”….From our story Part 6:”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?” Read all of Part 6 – HERE.

Ted Carroll is a lifelong Rye resident, a Certified Public Accountant, and a partner at Noson Lawen Partners, a media industry private equity firm.

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