Here & There: Maloney, Ryan, & Moran

Dot’s all, Joe

Riddle of the day: If fightin’ Joe Maloney of Saugerties fell in a forest and nobody was around, would he still make noise?

Probably.

Maloney, who won’t be running for a second term, will go out flailing at the establishment windmills he came into office to expose, embarrass and maybe change. Good luck with that. After 14 months in office, Maloney, whose term runs out Dec. 31, is pretty much back where he started, an angry man without much clout.

For sure, the dots were there. Month after month, Maloney spoke to what he saw as a pay to play culture in the Hein administration. Trouble was, nobody else bought in.

Maloney’s last blast – which is not to say there won’t be more over the next ten months of his term – was an attack on, of all people, acting county executive Adele Reiter. Culling official campaign spending/contribution reports, Maloney reminded us that Reiter had donated $5,000 to Mike Hein’s first (2008) campaign for executive and had been rewarded with a $115,000 job. For ten years. Cause and effect? Maybe, but as Hein defenders in the legislature pointed out, it’s all perfectly legal. Nobody, other than Maloney and Dave Donaldson of Kingston, is recommending changing those laws, however.

Maloney still faces a $7,000 fine (half his legislative salary) levied by the Hein-appointed county ethics board just before the county executive announced in January that he was leaving for a job in the Cuomo administration.  He says he’ll take his case to state supreme court; the clock is running with about two months left.

Derek Spada, chairman of the ethics board, tells us Maloney’s decision not to seek reelection does not change its decision. “We acted on what he did in office, “egregious” behavior involving voting on a raise for his wife in the comptroller’s office and lobbying the legislature to restore her position after it was eliminated by Hein.* “And that still holds,” he said.

Maloney, with a baby on the way, will return to the private sector even less impressed with the efficacy of government.

Where goeth Hector?

Recall that final scene in the movie Troy where Brad Pitt (Achilles) circles the city in his chariot yelling “Hector! Hector!”.  Well, nobody, other than a few committed feminists, is calling for the New Paltz legislator’s scalp even after what many saw as credible evidence of inappropriate behavior with some women.

Legislature chairwoman Tracey Bartles is doing her due diligence to determine whether the legislature itself can investigate. “The rules are vague; we might have to make some changes,” she said. In which case, lawyers tell us, ex-post facto might come into play. Most legislatures have rules governing behavior of members, with penalties ranging from reprimand to censure to expulsion. Not ours. 

After hammering Maloney, ethics board chairman Spada says its rules don’t allow its members to comment on whether they’re even thinking of launching a probe of L’ffaire Hector, as called for by legislator Heidi Haynes of Marbletown. I conclude they are not. Democrats would prefer this embarrassing incident just fade away.

Moran, Moran – At the risk of jinxing Woodstock’s Jeff Moran’s late entry into the race for county executive, his has a very steep path to the nomination, and there’s not much time left.

Moran, a former two-term town supervisor, ending in 2009, did not attend the Democratic nominating convention on the 20th which endorsed Gardiner’s Pat Ryan over Kingston’s Patrice Courtney Strong. Buried by a 58-42 margin, Strong subsequently dropped out, after which Moran announced he would challenge Ryan at the party’s June 25h primary.

Moran’s no-show at convention was curious; maybe he was waiting for the smoke to clear. If so, so were assemblyman Kevin Cahill and Rep. Antonio Delgado, both of whom separately endorsed Ryan after he was nominated, fey handicappers betting on a sure thing.

I don’t give Moran much of a chance in the Democratic primary. For one thing, Ryan, who is unopposed in the April 30 special election for county exec, will have had held that office for almost two full months before the few Democrats who go to the polls vote on June 25. Ryan will use that pulpit to full advantage while Moran is out beating the bushes for elusive votes.

But Moran may have one ace up his sleeve, or is it a joker? After losing the Democratic nomination at caucus for reelection after his first term, Moran, a Democrat since moving to Woodstock in 1992, sought and accepted the town Republican endorsement and won on that line.

It would not be a stretch to presume electorally bankrupt Republicans will come knocking soon after primary returns are finalized in June.

*CORRECTION:  Sharp-eyed readers spotted this boo-boo quicker than I could say mea culpa. Saugerties legislator Joe Maloney did not, repeat, did not, lobby for his wife’s job with the county comptroller as I mistakenly reported this week. Rather, Maloney appealed to the ways and means committee to restore the position of auditor Alicia DeMarco, whom former executive Mike Hein had recommended removing from his 2018 proposed budget. Legislators have every right to lobby for positions or programs they believe will benefit taxpayers, but not for spouses, pals or relatives. They can get some other legislator to do that. Comptroller Elliott Auerbach went to the mat for his auditor, but she left on maternity leave. She’s back and Hein is history, maybe because Hein is history.. For the record, Maloney was found guilty of ethics violations by the county ethics board for voting on a CSEA contract which included his wife and for lobbying for DeMarco. The board fined him $7,000. Lobbying for his wife, which he didn’t do, might have landed him in irons.Again, I regret the error.