Monday, September 19, 2011

Legislator aims for resolution asking clerk to resign

Oswego County Legislator Mike Kunzwiler, D-Oswego, announced plans to present a resolution calling for Oswego County clerk and county Republican Chairman George Williams to step down from his position.

The announcement, which came during the Legislature’s meeting on Thursday, was the second time Kunzwiler has brought up the topic since the beginning of the saga with Info Quick Solutions (IQS), one of the companies vying for a contract with the county.

On May 4, three companies appeared in front of the county Legislature’s Consumer and Community Affairs Committee, pitching their products and fielding questions from county officials in an attempt to earn a contract for the text and image management system used in the clerk’s office. A contract with the Liverpool-based company IQS was among those bidders. The contract with IQS expired with the county at the end of 2010.

After the meeting, Williams and Deputy Clerk of Operations Matthew Bacon went to a Fulton restaurant and had drinks with IQS owner Bernie Owens, who Williams has said he has known on a personal level for more than 30 years. Aside from a brief conversation regarding pistol permits at that restaurant, Williams has insisted that the conversations were not work related, and mostly consisted of “friendship-like conversation,” he said.

He proceeded to ask the Legislature to support a resolution he plans to bring forth to have Williams step down from the position. The legislator added that Bacon should also be disciplined. Kunzwiler continued by saying that Oswego County Attorney Richard Mitchell should reach out to the New York State Comptroller to establish if IQS should be allowed to continue biding for the contract.

“It is our obligation to the taxpayers,” he said.

During a full Legislature meeting in June, Kunzwiler called for Williams to resign after the clerk sent a letter to members of the Republican caucus detailing issues Williams has said he has endured within his department over the past year. The letter further listed names of people within his department who have allegedly been the source of those accusations, and cited a Fulton-area newspaper as the mouthpiece for those employees.

“Not once since this saga began has the reporter (of that newspaper), or story teller, called me to get my side of the story,” Williams wrote. “(The reporter) depended on the cast of characters … for her half truths, unfounded accusations and incomplete sub-stories to what really happened.”

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