Rochester, New York — November 21, 2013. Democrats in the Monroe County Legislature have proposed legislation to create a special bipartisan investigatory committee to assume control of the internal review into LDC contracts currently being performed by Dennis Vacco under the direction of the County Executive. Democrats believe there are clear conflicts of interest with the County Executive and that she cannot perform a credible review.
Democrats have been requesting information from the County Executive related to the internal review since August 2, but none of those requests have been answered. While the administration has acknowledged “irregularities” in the contracts with Navitech, the details of those irregularities have not been shared with the Legislature, the LDC boards or the public.
“If it weren’t for the County Executive personally authorizing the $100 million contract assignment, Navitech wouldn’t have any business with the County,” Legislator Carrie Andrews (D-Rochester) said. “We are deeply troubled by this situation and it is simply not acceptable to deflect attention by saying our calls for an independent review are ‘political’. We no longer have faith in the review being performed by Mr. Vacco and it’s time for our colleagues to join us in demanding some level of transparency for the citizens we represent.”
Democrats have previously raised concerns about whether any due diligence was performed by the County Executive prior to awarding the $100 million contract to Navitech, because it had only been in existence for a few weeks prior and had no experience whatsoever.
“In order for the public to have faith in this internal review, it must be performed by the Legislature,” Legislator Justin Wilcox (D-Rochester), the proposal’s sponsor, said. “The Legislature was created to act as a check against abuses of power in the Executive branch of government, and it’s clear that abuses have taken place. We need to step in as soon as possible, in a bipartisan and credible way, to ensure the integrity of this review and any recommendations that result from it. This should be a decision made by the Legislature and we need to act whether the County Executive accepts it or not.”
The special committee would be comprised of three members from each party and would be required to report monthly to the full legislature about their activities. The meetings of the committee would be open to the public. The proposal has been submitted to Legislature President Jeff Adair. If allowed to come up for a vote, the proposal would be considered during the week of December 16, giving Republican Legislators ample time for review.