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Wednesday, June 3, 2009

The House of Cards...

At the May 27, 2009 Town Board Meeting, Councilwoman Krupa stated that as a result of the Observer Dispatch article revealing the missing $2.6 million, several people (10-15 according to today's editorial in the Observer Dispatch) had sent in resumes and made inquiries regarding possible employment with the town. Supposedly, Ms. Krupa held interviews from the list of applicants and Ms. Heather Mowat has already been hired for this unadvertised, non-existent job.

Since Councilwoman Krupa made such a big deal of the numerous inquiries they received after the Observer Dispatch article, Concerned Citizens FOILed the applications, letters of interest, emails, etc. from the people that had been considered. Ms. Krupa, an attorney, replied:

Ms. Lawrence,

Please be advised that your FOIL request for "copies of ALL resumes, letters of interest, emails, applications, etc. received in response to the position now being filled by the hiring of Heather Mowat" is hereby denied. The reason for the denial of your request is pursuant to Public Officers Law, Article 6, Section 89(7) which states in part:

"Nothing in this article shall require the disclosure......of an applicant for appointment to public employment...".

Your FOIL request for "a copy of the RFP and the job description for this position" is also being denied. RFPs are requested in instances when professional services are sought on a contractual basis. Since Ms. Mowat is an employee of the town, no RFP was requested and thereby does not exist.

As to the "job description for this position", no description currently exists. Our Human Resources Dept. is in the process of formulating a complete description of duties based on Ms. Mowat being hired to provide financial analysis and accounting support to the Town. It is expected the process will be completed in time to discuss at the June 9, 2009 town board meeting, at which time a detailed description will be presented to the Town Board and the public.

Christine G. Krupa, Councilwoman
Town of New Hartford

We repeat, Ms. Krupa is not only a CPA, but is also an attorney. We replied to Ms. Krupa; in part our reply was:

As an attorney you should know better than to leave out the pertinent part of the law you cite in order to suit your own needs because it sheds doubt on everything else you say from here forward.

The entire section of the Public Officers Law that you cite merely says that the name and home address of an employee does not have to be disclosed. It does not say that the application does not need to be disclosed nor does it say anything about the application of others who may have applied for the position.

Robert Freeman, Executive Director of the Committee on Open Government also has an opinion that we incorporated into our response to Councilwoman Krupa. To read the entire email exchange between Concerned Citizens and Councilwoman here!

Today, we received a reply to our email from Ms. Krupa attaching the resume for Heather Mowat and some correspondence, but denying access to any other resumes.

From the emails between Ms. Krupa and Ms. Mowat, we would say it is safe to say that Ms. Mowat was contacted by Ms. Krupa upon the recommendation of Town Supervisor Earle Reed. Gee what a shock! We also think it is safe to say that there were no other resumes, letters of interest or applications from anyone else. Ms. Mowat was hand-selected because of her friendship with Earle Reed.

Ms. Krupa, Politics 101, never say anything that can be questioned and found out to be untrue. You make yourself look like you are "trying to pull the wool over town residents and taxpayers eyes". Residents want "real" answers, not something manufactured by a political crony of Earle Reed.

Here is Heather Mowat's resume and the email exchange between her and Councilwoman Krupa that was provided to us through our FOIL request. We will be appealing Councilwoman Krupa's denial of the rest of our FOIL request for additional applications at the next town board meeting. Hopefully, Councilwoman Krupa will keep in mind that in order for the town board to deny our appeal, they will need to give a specific reason for the denial and the entire appeal must be sent to Robert Freeman, Executive Director of the Committee on Open Government. By the way, Councilwoman Krupa, because there aren't any more applications or resumes will suffice as a reason for your denial of our FOIL request!

We can hardly wait!

Don't forget, John Kalil, Jr. is holding a town hall meeting at 7 p.m. tonight in the Oneida Room at the Ramada Inn to get your feedback. John cares what town residents think. Open government...


BigMac said...

ITS Time for a complete clean out of these So called leaders of our town they are leading us to destruction!

Anonymous said...

When will they learn their lesson. I am utterly shocked at how willing these people are to make fools of themselves in order to continue the cover-up. It seems that the OD has been providing some coverage, do you expect them to pick this up?

New Hartford, N.Y. Online said...


Good question...we certainly hope so. This has been going on long enough...time to replace the entire town board with people who have no prior connection to town politics.

Anonymous said...

Ms. Krupa doesn't even take the time to respond to requests from her constituents. One guesses that rudeness can be added to her list of traits such as incompetence. The hiring of a political operative as is Ms. Mowat was not at all necessary. There are plenty of qualified, non partisan New Hartford residents who would have volunteered to do a special over sight analysis and report concerning the budget debacle. This volunteeer group could then have issued a public report of its findings. In thei fashion, some semblence of public confidence could have been restored