Dear Friends and Neighbors:
Residents have expressed concerns that my opponent in the election for mayor, a town board member and licensed electrician, is frequently paid directly or through his company to perform private electrical work in our town. They ask: “Isn’t that a conflict of interest?”
For projects involving substantial electrical work, my opponent or his firm must apply for an electrical permit from the Building Department – the same Building Department over which the town board has hiring and firing authority, including the hiring and firing of the Building Inspector and other employees. In other words, my opponent makes money on work approved by the people that he has power over.
Recognizing the potential for abuse, New York law prohibits town officials from receiving compensation in matters pending before any department or agency over which they have the power to hire and fire.1
Since he became a town board member, my opponent or his firm has often been paid to perform electrical work for which he was required to obtain a town building permit.2 He profited from work performed under these permits while he was a town board member. Such transactions are illegal; they are prohibited under New York law. A person who knowingly and intentionally violates this law may be fined, suspended or removed from office or employment.3 Yet my opponent, through ignorance or willfulness, proceeded anyway.
The proper course of action upon his becoming a town board member, was to refrain from accepting any electrical work in Harrison that would require a Building Department permit. He did not do so and therefore violated the law on each occasion he was paid for performing such work.
My opponent professes to have no conflicts of interest.4 The facts are otherwise, as shown in the records of the Building Department. If he were to become mayor, would he continue to perform electrical work in town? Would he commit other ethical violations and allow other town officers and employees to do the same? He has so far remained mum on the subject.
This country has had enough of elected officials who willfully flout the law or are ignorant of it. Let’s elect a candidate for mayor who will uphold the highest ethical standards and will not tolerate illegal or unethical behavior, especially with respect to his or her own conduct. I, Frank Gordon, am that candidate. Please vote for me for mayor. I promise that I will lead by example, as I have done in my four years as a town board member.
More information on the Moving Harrison Forward team can be found at www.movingharrisonforward.com.
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Candidate for Supervisor/Mayor
Moving Harrison Forward
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1 Section 805-a of New York General Municipal Law states, in relevant part: “1. No municipal officer or employee shall … receive, or enter into any agreement, express or implied, for compensation for services to be rendered in relation to any matter before any municipal agency of which he is an officer, member or employee or of any municipal agency over which he has jurisdiction or to which he has the power to appoint any member, officer or employee …”
2 See, for example, Harrison Building Department Electrical Permit Nos. 19-28772, 19-29186, 19-29187, 19-29264, 19-29315, 19-29395, 19-29517, 19-29809, 19-29850, 19-29851, 19-29976, 20-30554, 20-30760, 20-31345, 20-31724, 20-31784, 20-31831, 21-33278, 21-33959, 21-34326, and 21-34592 with “Dionisio Services (Richard M.)” listed as Contractor.
3 General Municipal Law Section 805-a(2).
4 Email from The Dionisio Team/2021 Harrison United received October 12, 2021 at 1:54 pm stating: “We have no conflicts of interest.”