- Rich Klein
COUNTY ATTORNEY DENIES FOIL REQUEST FOR RESIGNATION LETTER OF STEPHANIE BROWN
MONTICELLO - Sullivan County Attorney Michael McGuire today officially denied The SullivanTimes' appeal of a Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) request to obtain the resignation letter of Stephanie Brown, who recently departed as the County's Commissioner of Health & Family Services after one year in that position.
In its appeal, The SullivanTimes wrote to the County Attorney that Brown had already divulged the nature of her resignation in an extensive interview with another media outlet and that the letter could be redacted to protect any of her private information.
Her resignation came in the immediate aftermath of a public airing before the County Legislature on January 28 - and again yesterday - regarding an allegation brought to the Sullivan County Board of Ethics last Fall that centered on Legislator Luis Alvarez, who reportedly had used coarse language towards her while advocating for his wife - a long-time former resident of The Care Center at Sunset Lake that Brown oversaw at part of her job responsibilities. Deputy County Manager John Liddle and Legislator Nadia Rajsz both attended the meeting at which Alvarez got into a heated argument with Brown.
Rajsz has gone on the record recently and said that Alvarez never used the "C" word. Liddle, who doubles as the County's Social Services commissioner, has not made any public statement.
The Legislature declined to take action on the finding by the Board of Ethics, which subsequently also led to the resignation of Lorne Greene from the Ethics Board.
Yesterday, Legislature Chair Rob Doherty - who on social media and before the Legislature accused Alvarez of using the "C" word towards Brown - provided a forum for Ethics Board Chair John Kiefer, who admitted in public Thursday that the "C" word was not part of the investigation and that he did not know where that reference originated.
Kiefer also had to be interrupted by Deputy County Attorney Thomas Cawley for apparently violating the Ethics Code when he began revealing confidential information about the Ethics Board's deliberations regarding Alvarez.
As for Brown, she was also at least partly responsible for the hiring of the Care Center's former administrator, Sherita Alexander, who abruptly resigned last year after an exclusive story by The SullivanTimes revealed that she may not have been truthful about her work experience.