Newstead residents accuse officials of misconduct - The Buffalo News

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Newstead residents accuse officials of misconduct

Several Newstead residents Monday night accused Supervisor David Cummings, Councilman James Mayrose, and Code Enforcement Officer Ralph Migliaccio of harassment and misallocation of town resources.

The discussion began with Cummings addressing comments made by Kevin Borth on April 28, when the town resident suggested that town money was being systematically misused and had resulted in major overspending.

Additionally, Borth alleged that the State Comptrollers office was disconcerted by the monetary actions taken by the Town of Newstead. Cummings responded that was not the case.

“The State Comptroller’s office was not unhappy, because nothing illegal was done,” he said, later expanding that the overspending was conducted for good reason and on town property, including major renovations to a cold-storage building.

Though the “proper motion was not made” to enact the renovations, “both [Newstead and Akron] boards worked together” and any curious citizen can pursue the details of the budget with total transparency, he said.

Borth also claimed that a company that submitted a higher bid for renovations to the Town Library had been favored over a more competitive pricing model.

Cummings dismissed this as well, and saying “the lower-level of the library had been paid for by the lowest bidder.”

During a forum at the end of regular meeting, further accusations were made.

Gregory Lindke, an independent contractor in the employment of Borth, described an incident with Code Enforcement Officer Ralph Migliaccio.

Lindke said the incident was briefly discussed during the previous meeting, and upon reviewing the transcript from the meeting he was dismayed.

“It made me look like a liar,” he said.

Lindke asserted that on March 19, Migliaccio gained entrance during working hours to one of Borth’s properties that Lindke oversaw. Upon seeing Migliaccio, who was taking photographs of the site without permission, Lindke asked him if he had any consent to be on the premises.

Lindke alleges that Migliaccio “didn’t physically push me, but walked through me” and used harsh, derogatory language while pointing his index finger in Lindke’s face. Only after claiming he had enough “evidence” did Migliaccio leave the property and not without insinuating that Lindke was “lucky” he was not a resident of Newstead.

A third complaint was leveled at Migliaccio, this time from long-time resident Don Caple.

“On May 22nd at 9:06 p.m., I saw the Code Enforcement Officer, Supervisor Cummings, and Councilman Mayrose at the Village Inn, a local bar. Outside was a town vehicle that had been parked a few doors down,” he said.

Caple went on to quote a town statute forbidding the operation of town equipment under any impairment.

The town board convened an executive session in an adjacent office and emerged 20 minutes later to approve two motions.

The first motion limited Code Enforcement Officer’s vehicle use to the hours of 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and only for town business.

The second motion called for the reporting of the incident on May 22 to the ethics board for further investigation.

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