Democratic Caucus of the Monroe County Legislature

Minority Leader Kaleh Issues Statement on Nelson Rivera Plea

Tom MorriseyComment

Rochester, New York — Please see the following statement from Democratic Minority Leader Cynthia W. Kaleh regarding Nelson Rivera’s plea in the LDC case:

As early as August 2009, the Democratic Caucus had identified numerous
warning signs in the LDC contracts being put before the Legislature. These warning
signs, dismissed as “playing politics” at the time, were completely ignored.
However, our worst fears have been confirmed by the Maggio, Wiesner, and
Rivera pleas: high-ranking county officials and others were colluding to rig these bids to
the benefit of a well-connected group of people at the expense of the taxpayers they were
meant to serve.

Both the Maggio(1) and Rivera(2) plea agreements mention specific questions by our
caucus that struck at the heart of the illegal behavior regarding LDCs. We were rebuked;
had our concerns been listened to at that time, taxpayers might have been saved tens of
millions of dollars and this entire scandal might have been avoided before it even began.

There is a reason that the County Legislature votes to approve contracts and has
the power to question the administration before voting.

These are sad days for the taxpayers of Monroe County, as the county legislature
ceded its responsibility as an independent watchdog of the Executive Branch, affording
these men the opportunity to enrich themselves. It has now been shown in a court of
law that those who should have been serving the people’s interests instead chose to
serve only their own.

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[1] John Maggio Plea and Cooperation Agreement: Exhibit A – John Maggio Factual Statement, Paragraphs 22-26

[1] Nelson Rivera Plea Agreement and Allocution: Exhibit B - Factual Allocution - Count Four, Paragraph 21