Call it the issue that won't go away.
Democratic sheriff candidate Rocco J. Diina's co-ownership of a private security company served as the charge of the day again Tuesday when Republican opponent Patrick Gallivan challenged Diina to release a list of all public agencies protected by his RJD Security Inc.
The list, Gallivan said, includes county agencies like the Department of Social Services, the Erie County Home and Infirmary and the Buffalo Convention Center.
And he claimed Diina's promise to avoid security business with Erie County if elected sheriff amounted to admitting a conflict of interest.
"He's acknowledged it's a conflict, and he's existed with a conflict for the last four years as deputy police commissioner with all these city contracts," Gallivan said. "He should release a list of all contracts involving public money -- whether city, county, state or federal."
On Sunday, Frederick J. Marshall, minority leader of the Erie County Legislature, called on Diina to forego any RJD business with Erie County. On Monday, Diina promised the company would not seek such business if he is elected sheriff.
But Gallivan used the latest developments to continue his most consistent line of attacks on Diina, posing a number of hypothetical questions regarding RJD and a potential Sheriff Diina.
"If you're a businessman and the sheriff or his brother comes to you asking you to bid the contract, something is implied there," Gallivan said. "Maybe it means a higher level of (sheriff) protection if you do, or a lower level if you don't.
Diina questioned the accuracy of several agencies listed by Gallivan as RJD clients. And though he said Monday that RJD would not seek county contracts if elected, he said Tuesday he could not speak for the company because he is not involved in daily operations. He referred all questions to his brother and partner, Anthony Diina, who pointed to his company's confidentiality policy and refused to disclose any clients -- public or private.
He did say, however, that Gallivan had made "inaccurate" statements."
"It's a shame he continues to attack an Erie County business that provides employment, pays taxes and is a fine corporate citizen," Rocco Diina said.