- Rich Klein
Editorial: Doherty Unfit But He Has Enablers
Watching the proceedings today of the Sullivan County Legislature reinforced that Chair Rob Doherty is completely unfit for the job.
His policies continue to go against the will of the people but he doesn't care.
His lies to the public are now well documented, including the big lie he spread about Luis
Alvarez that earned Doherty a nice lawsuit filed today.
And just when you think Doherty could not sink lower, he calls Legislator Joe Perrello "a punk" -three times - during a meeting of the County Legislature's Health & Family Services Committee. Then, he publicly accused Perrello of some unethical behavior.
But bullies like Doherty always have enablers. And today, those enablers included Legislators Alan Sorenson, Michael Brooks and Nicholas Salomone. Those three voted against a resolution that would have properly censured Doherty for his behavior towards Alvarez, including using the county's taxpayer-funded website to spread a vile lie about the former chair of the Legislature.
Brooks today played the misogynist card when he told the only woman in the Legislature - Nadia Rajsz - that she was getting too "emotional" by introducing a resolution that sought to censure Doherty. Sorensen, the longest serving legislator, lacked the backbone to vote in favor of the censure that would let it pass - even though he called for the web post that included Doherty's lie to be removed. (The post did finally disappear late this afternoon after remaining online since January 22).
Taxpayers across the County need to pay attention because if Doherty continues to be like "Teflon Don" he will do more damage. For example, we don't yet know how the transfer of the Care Center at Sunset Lake to Infinite Care will impact its vulnerable residents and heroic employees who have endured the nightmare of the pandemic. And will those employees remain County employees after the takeover?
We also don't yet know if Doherty sincerely wants to renegotiate the Sullivan Catskills Visitors Association contract since he's been on a mission to terminate it - while working on a back-room deal (and recruiting high level County employees to help) to boost the Upper Delaware Scenic Byway.
There's a nearly 14 percent Covid positivity rate in South Fallsburg, a Sheriff's Office that has little to show regarding its police reform plan, and the County still has no movement towards hiring a new Health Commissioner. Doherty has shown zero interest in any of these issues.
But Doherty is using taxpayer time to bully residents during public comments and online, call a colleague "a punk," and continue to hide critical information from legislators and the public.
And now he faces a lawsuit from Alvarez. Since the County is not named in the suit, Doherty can't go crying to County Attorney Mike McGuire. (Maybe he'll retain Gail Rubenfeld, a respected defense attorney who is also his Smallwood neighbor and who has handled much of Doherty's business litigation).
Let's hope those who want to buy homes, invest in businesses or just visit Sullivan County never see the video of today's Health & Family Services Committee meeting. We should all archive it but maybe it should also be taken down, too.
Rajsz said that today's meeting deteriorated into a "circus" but this was no laughing matter.
If you are against backroom deals, constant lies, bullying and misogynist behavior, call and email Doherty, Brooks, Conklin, Salomone and Sorensen. Remind them (and add County Attorney Michael McGuire to your list) that they are embarrassing themselves and the people of goodwill in Sullivan who want a kinder, gentler, healthier and vibrant County that we all can be proud of.
Photo: Rob Doherty