Tonawanda News

NT

November 28, 2012

County mum on Soos inquiry

(Continued)

Tonawanda News — “Many,” but not all, of his questions were answered in the executive session, he said afterward.

The matter of Smith’s renomination is in Democratic legislators’ hands. According to Legislature Chairman Bill Ross, C-Wheatfield, Majority Leader Dennis Virtuoso, D-Niagara Falls, is free to put Smith’s nomination up to a vote of the full Legislature next week.

By state law, county legislatures pretty much rubber-stamp the major political parties’ picks for county election commissioners; they don’t have any authority to name commissioners who are not supported by their party.

The county Democratic committee “filed” its recommendation of Smith with the legislature clerk Nov. 20. If the full legislature doesn’t vote to appoint her within 30 days, Democratic legislators alone can appoint her.

If there’s no show of support for Smith from the Republican-led caucus, Virtuoso said his three-member minority caucus will do just that. Wojtaszek’s questions of Smith have a “phony” ring to them, he charged.

“Both commissioners signed off on (Soos’) termination. One alone can’t do it, but only one is being questioned about it now,” Virtuoso said. “They’re playing politics.”

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