March 26-27, 2011

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Orange County Legislative Democrats continue to push for integrity officer

GOSHEN – The minority Democratic Caucus in the Orange County Legislature and Republican County Executive Edward Diana continue to exchange words over the Democrats’ call for creation of an office of county integrity officer.

Minority Leader Jeffrey Berkman and Diana have exchanged letters with Diana telling Berkman the Democrats’ agenda is purely “politically motivated.” Berkman disputes that.

“An inspector general would have the proper authority and be empowered to look into these issues,” he said.

Berkman is referring to payments for the Orange County offices at the Broadway armory in Newburgh being made to the developer and not the bank. The county said a clerk in the finance office wrote the checks. Diana later said the procedure was changed to require a commissioner or deputy commissioner to redirect payments.

Berkman is also concerned about possible unofficial use of county vehicles.

Diana did not respond to several requests for comment on the issue.


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