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Wednesday, January 7, 2009

General Property Maintenance...

An article in today's Observer Dispatch, State audit finds fraud, bid-rigging at Central NY DDSO seems to mention some names we have heard before.

In particular, the names Norm Gaumer and General Property Maintenance have been mentioned in our blogs in connection with former Town Highway Superintendent Roger Cleveland along with many blogs about Al Roberts, an apparent acquaintance of Norm Gaumer and no stranger to General Property Maintenance. Mr. Roberts, if you remember, is a relative of the current town councilman, Dave Reynolds.

Back on January 25, 2008, we wrote two (2) blogs regarding General Property Maintenance, Mr. Gaumer and Al Roberts.

One of the blogs was when Roger Cleveland sold a 1999 International 4700 truck and plow from the Town of New Hartford on ebay for a ridiculously low price of $7,500 and it turned up being for sale by General Property Maintenance shortly thereafter for $18,500. Here is a link to that blog Quinky Dink or not...

Here's a picture and an excerpt from that blog:

Pictured above is the information that is taped to the window of the truck that is for sale by General Property Maintenance (a landscaping business) located on Seneca Turnpike across from the Smoking Gun Saloon. Sure seems to match the truck that the Town of New Hartford sold on ebay back in December 2007. In fact, there is one identifier that was left on the truck that some might not notice, but we did! We even have a picture of it. They also did a lousy paint job because you can still see Town of New Hartford on the door if you stand at just the right angle. They must have had to put a lot of work and parts into that "old" truck...the new owner is now trying to sell it for $18,500.

Yes sir...315-853-7506...that's the phone number for General Property Maintenance!

There was also a blog called Quinky Dink (con'td).... That blog was about the Town of New Hartford dump trucks that the Highway Superintendent sold to Al Roberts before they were declared surplus by the town board and all of a sudden one of the dump trucks turns up being registered to Norm Gaumer.

Some of the shenanigans that are in the comptroller's audit of DDSO sound eerily similar to the shenanigans that have been going on in the Town of New Hartford. According to the Observer Dispatch article:
In another instance, Risucci said he had secured discounts — and possibly free items — for landscaping materials from a vendor he hired for the agency.

The Comptroller’s Office identified that vendor as Norman Gaumer, owner of Clinton-based General Property Maintenance. Gaumer was paid $318,678 during Risucci’s employment. In 2007, Risucci also sold Gaumer his 1995 Ford Mustang, the report said.

Gaumer said he had no comment about the allegations.

Ironically, Mr. Cleveland and his stepson also own a landscaping business. We blogged about a town truck that just happened to be purchased from Steet Ponte by Mr. Cleveland's stepson one day after it was turned in by Mr. Cleveland as part a bid package for the purchase of a new town vehicle. By the way, Mr. Cleveland's stepson also just happens to work in the Town of New Hartford Highway Garage.

We happened upon that traded in Town of New Hartford truck one day as the driver was helping himself to some of the free mulch in the Village of New Hartford...probably the mulch was to be used for the landscaping business. Was Mr. Cleveland and his stepson also getting free landscaping materials from General Property Maintenance in exchange for the town vehicles that happened to be sold to Mr. Gaumer and Mr. Roberts well below book value?

Mr. DiNapoli, please visit our might find a connection!

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