Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Former Supervisor Cleared of Ethics Charges

Finger Lakes Times:
Former Fayette Supervisor Edward Barto has been cleared of ethics charges filed against him by Concerned Citizens of Seneca County.

County Attorney Frank Fisher reached that decision in a Jan. 15 opinion, but it was not made public until this week by Barto’s attorney, Steven Getman of Ovid.....

Barto, reached Tuesday, said he was pleased that the complaint was dismissed. But he expressed frustration at the group’s tactics and the fact that Fisher’s decision was not given to him or made public by the citizens group.

“I’m glad to hear that the county confirmed that I did nothing wrong,” Barto said. “I always did my best to uphold the integrity of my office, and this opinion supports that.”

“At the same time, I think it stinks that this special interest group had no problem smearing me publicly when it suited their political whim and then, after I was cleared, they never said anything about it,” he said. ““I had to get an attorney to find out the complaint had been dismissed.”

Getman said he hopes the parties can discuss their issues more amicably in the future.

“Reasonable people can and do disagree on environmental issues,” Getman said. “But it ill-serves the public debate when one side or another tries to criminalize policy differences.’’