Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Minority leader to meet with DA on Oswego County Clerk Issue

Oswego County Legislator Mike Kunzwiler, who serves as the minority leader, said Tuesday he will meet with District Attorney-elect Gregory Oakes soon after the first of the year to discuss the controversy in the county clerk’s office.

“Our caucus wants the district attorney to look at everything,” Kunzwiler said, adding that Oakes has agreed to the meeting. Oakes said he would meet with any legislator who wanted to speak with him on any issue.

An Oct. 2010 decision rendered by the Oswego County Ethics Board against Deputy County Clerk Georgiana Mansfield was turned over to the district attorney’s office for an investigation.

Kunzwiler said he has heard nothing of the investigation and does not know if one was ever initiated.

It is one of the issues he said he will be discussing with Oakes. Mansfield was found guilty by the ethics board for also working for a vendor of the clerk’s office. She was reprimanded and fined prior to the referral to the district attorney.

Kunzwiler said he will also ask Oakes to review the transcripts of a recent unemployment hearing in which County Clerk George Williams and Mansfield both testified under oath that they “set up” an employee of the clerk’s office to determine if she was a spy.

The employee filed for unemployment benefits and the county made an unsuccessful attempt to deny the benefits. Williams did not respond to a request to comment on his testimony.

The testimony also includes the statement of another employee who described the working conditions in the clerk’s office as “psychological bullying.”

Kunzwiler said he his not pleased with the apathy of the Republican legislators as to the alleged treatment of the employees by management in the clerk’s office.

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