NOON UPDATE: According to GhentCANN’s Patti Matheney, Crawford did indeed resign this morning. (GOP chair Greg Fingar presented him with a bottle of gin as a farewell gift.) Retired realtor Mary Bartolotta, who has been outspoken about her distaste for the State investigation which prompted Crawford’s resignation, will serve as President for the next month as CEDC decides on next steps. Consultant Mike Tucker’s $6,000-per-month contract as temporary director was approved, taking on the role previously filled by Ken Flood, who remains in his County Planning/Development post for now.
According to a well-placed source, CEDC President David Crawford intends to resign at this morning’s meeting of the agency’s embattled board.
Crawford’s failure to disclose an obvious conflict of interest, while participation in CEDC decisions regarding his client, Ginsberg’s Foods, were highlighted in the recent State Authorities Budget Office investigation. The report was prompted by a complaint from citizen watchdogs GhentCANN.
Meanwhile, the five members (which includes Crawford) of CEDC’s new management committee have reportedly been meeting in private, without publicly noticing their meetings or posting minutes documenting them.
Failure to comply with Open Government regulations was one of the topics of the much-discussed State investigation of the agency.
According to New York State law, a public “meeting” is defined as “the official convening of a public body for the purpose of conducting public business.” A “public body” consists “of two or more members, performing a governmental function for the state or for an agency or department thereof, or for a public corporation...”
Since the management committee is conducting business for a public authority, and more than two members are present, its proceedings require public notice.
The ABO report noted regarding CEDC’s committees (prior to the formation of the new management group) that
Committees and subcommittees established by public bodies are also subject to Open Meetings Law. CEDC has established two committees, its Executive Committee and a Loan Committee that reviews loans recommended by CEDC staff and determines if such loans will be recommended for board approval. However, CEDC does not provide public notice of these committee meetings or allow public access to these meetings. The CEDC does not maintain meeting minutes for its Loan Committee. CEDC also did not maintain meeting minutes for all of its Executive Committee meetings in 2014. Of the nine meetings held, minutes were taken only for six of those meetings, and none of these meeting minutes are posted on the CEDC website. [Emphases added.]
So though the State chastised CEDC for failing to provide notice, allow public access, and maintain publicly-accessible minutes of its decisions for its two existing committees, the agency appears to not only have formed a third committee, but to be actively thumbing its nose at the State’s findings. No such notices or minutes currently appear at the agency’s website.