Republican State Senate candidate Dave Renzi is hitting Democratic incumbent Senator Darrel Aubertine over an allegation of a violation of state ethics.Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â Their dueling press releases are presented below.Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â Here’s Renzi’s:
Aubertine Breaks The Law, Makes Sister Pay
Six months after illegally putting a family member on the taxpayer-funded state payroll, Darrel Aubertine continues to dodge and weave to escape responsibility for breaking the law, as evidenced by his latest move to make his sister repay the money she earned.
“As the Watertown Times clearly pointed out in its Oct. 4 editorial, Darrel Aubertine does not understand the law he sponsored, voted for, and then broke,” said Senate candidate Dave Renzi.
“Darrel Aubertine broke the law, which is clear. He continues to break the law by not repaying the money, which also is clear,” Renzi said. “Now, he makes his sister cut a check. What a guy.”
“The Attorney General or Legislative Ethics Commission needs to investigate Darrel Aubertine’s actions from the time he broke the law, and his continuing efforts to evade responsibility for breaking the law.”
Public Officers Law section 73 clearly requires that the offender ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ in this case, Aubertine ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ is responsible for repaying the illegal “gift, compensation or benefit”:
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â¦Any person who knowingly and intentionally violates (the law) shall be subject to a civil penalty in an amount not to exceed forty thousand dollars and the value of any gift, compensation or benefit received in connection with such violation. (POL, Sec. 17, subd. 14(h), emphasis added)
This evasion is just the lastest in Aubertine’s effort to shift responsibility for breaking the anti-nepotism law. For months after hiring his sister in March, Aubertine failed to acknowledge that he had broken the law, finally admitting during a campaign debate that he had broken the law.
“I did it. I hired my sister,” he said at a Sept. 16 Town Hall debate in Ogdensburg.
And a statement from Aubertine’s campaign
Statement from Cort Ruddy, campaign coordinator for Sen. Darrel J. Aubertine:
“Dave Renzi has sunk to a new low in their effort to spread lies and false information about Darrel Aubertine, while he continues to cover up his own unlawful behavior.Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â Darrel is doing the right thing, and Mr. Renzi is playing political games.
“More than a week ago, Darrel reached out to the Senate majority’s personnel office to pay back the money his sister made during her brief 21 day tenure.Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â Senate majority payroll director Richard Corcione, who works at the pleasure of Majority Leader Dean Skelos, specifically said that the recipient of the pay had to be the one who paid back the money.Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â Darrel would have preferred to pay it with a check of his own, but complied with the Senate Majority’s instruction.Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â For Dave Renzi to now make an issue of how the money has been repaid is pathetic and overtly political ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ especially while he is breaking the law and scamming the pension system.
“Rather than worrying about how Darrel did the right thing, Mr. Renzi should instead be focusing on how he is going to stop breaking the law he has broken for four years. What a law-breaking guy. He should finally return his improperly obtained pension credits.Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â He should also stop lying about the law he violated ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ which has not been changed in recent years, as he has claimed.Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â Once he does that, he should then answer how exactly he claimed 300 days of pension credits in just four years while working for a town of less than 3000 people.Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â It is time for Dave Renzi to do the right thing, by ending his negative attacks, giving back his illegal pension credits and complying with the law.”