- Rich Klein
EXCLUSIVE: NO PUBLIC RECORDS OF COUNTY'S TOWING CONTRACTS WITH PRESTIGE TOWING
The County has no record of towing contracts with Prestige Towing, even thought the company and its owner, Sean Brooks, has enjoyed a virtual monopoly on County towing for county vehicles and evidentiary towing (seized vehicles) for years.
The SullivanTimes today did a search of the County website under "Contracts" and came up empty on all searches of "Prestige" and "Prestige Towing."
It's unclear how much money the County has paid to Prestige this year and/or in past years.
The SullivanTimes has just raised this lack of information with Michelle Huck, the Assistant County Manager, who also doubles as the Freedom of Information Officer for the County.
On April 16, 2020, Undersheriff Eric Chaboty told the County Legislature that Skelly's Towing -another towing company that had been awarded a 2020 contract with the County - was facing "serious felony charges for insurance fraud" and that he was meeting with Acting District Attorney Meagan Galligan that day. Galligan has declined to comment on the matter. Chaboty said that Sheriff Michael Schiff was "reluctant" to sign the evidentiary contract with Skelly's while an investigation was ongoing. Chaboty told the Legislature that an investigator was sent to Skelly's on April 15 and that was confirmed by owner Michael Skelly in a subsequent interview.
Former County Attorney Cheryl McCausland on April 16 told the Legislature that the director of purchasing could extend the term of the agreement on evidentiary towing with the former tow company (Prestige Towing). McCausland said that Skelly's would likely be "disqualified" based only on Chaboty's allegations that were never proven. At that same meeting, County Legislature chair Rob Doherty suggested that the contract be given to the prior vendor.
Last month, Skelly and his family moved Skelly's Towing to another state. His property was reportedly sold to County Clerk Russell Reeves.
Corrine McGuire, wife of Michael McGuire, the new County Attorney, secured an administrative job with Schiff's office in March of this year.
(This is a developing story).