- Rich Klein
EDITORIAL: DOHERTY & MCGUIRE A DYNAMIC DUO OF LIES AND SMEAR TACTICS
After smearing the reputation of Legislator Luis Alvarez using taxpayer-funded communications with the lie that Alvarez used a vulgar word towards a county official, Doherty yesterday tried to convince the public that the word was used. But, later, he completely backed off a resolution disciplining Alvarez by saying "we don't have enough information" about what happened.
Actually, the fact that Doherty used taxpayer staff and dollars to spread a falsehood about another elected official (and doubling down on that lie via Facebook), should be the subject of a Board of Ethics investigation.
And while they are at it, maybe the Board of Ethics can look into why Doherty also used his position as chair of the Legislature to submit an affidavit in a lawsuit on the side of Prestige Towing, a company that does a tremendous amount of business with the County and where his nephew works. The ethics board might also look into why Undersheriff Eric Chaboty was authorized to sully the reputation of a competitor of Prestige in front of the Legislature earlier this year and literally driving that business owner/company out of Sullivan County with trumped up charges that were never substantiated by the District Attorney's office. (That company had won a County "contract" that Prestige thought it was entitled to since it had an unwritten monopoly on the county's towing business for more than a decade).
Meanwhile, County Attorney Michael McGuire reminded the public why he was recommended for removal from the bench. His diatribe yesterday included injecting his personal views into the Alvarez matter by saying that the former chair could have faced even stiffer punishment was beyond unprofessional. He said that while simultaneously acknowledging that he had not seen the full Ethics Report because it is confidential.
"Mr. McGuire is the attorney for the Legislature," Legislator Joe Perrello declared yesterday. "He represents each one of us." He's not your (Doherty's) personal attorney. I am fed up with this Legislature " (Perrello was furious that Doherty took McGuire to a meeting at Tilly's on Wednesday about the SCVA without informing him.
The silver lining, in all this, though, is that democracy worked yesterday. The "TruthSquad" and many other Alvarez supporters came out in force yesterday, despite Doherty's authoritarian orders to Sheriff's Deputies to lock them out of the building. (Sheriff Michael Schiff, who was a key to getting Doherty elected and getting McGuire's wife a job in his own office, reportedly had 12 deputies there to "secure" the Government Center yesterday).
Democracy also worked in slowing down Doherty's attempt to rush through the leasing of The Care Center at Sunset Lake and severing the County's contract with a successful vendor: the Sullivan Catskills Visitors Association.
Doherty and McGuire need to be confronted continually if democracy and honesty are to be defended in Sullivan going forward. Show up, speak out, write letters, email them and call their offices until they get the message.