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Brooks responds to LDC investigation allegations
Rochester, N.Y. In an afternoon press conference on Wednesday, Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks addressed the media about the ongoing investigation of local development corporations or LDCs.
Wednesday morning the State Attorney Generals office arrested four people on allegations they were involved in a bid-rigging scheme for two separate contracts to upgrade the countys emergency communications systems.
One of the four men indicted was Bob Wiesner, Brooks husband. Wiesner was a former Rochester police captain and the head of security for the Monroe County Water Authority. He was accused of two counts of bid-rigging.
During the press conference, Brooks would not talk about her husband or his alleged role in this investigation.
There are two things I don't talk about, she said. That's personnel issues and personal issues. My husband is a personal issue.
The county also hired former state Attorney General and former U.S. Attorney Dennis Vacco to do an internal investigation of the LDCs.
It was very clear to me from the county executive and her team that my investigation was to have no limits a no holds barred inquiry into what was ongoing in terms of the LDC and the management of these two entities, Vacco said at the press conference.
Vacco said his extensive investigation showed that there were irregularities with the consulting firm, Navitech.
Navitech received contracts through the LDCs and its owner John Maggio was among the four men arrested Wednesday. He is accused of money laundering the proceeds.
However, Vacco said that Brooks did nothing wrong.
We've reviewed a mountain of evidence and mountains of documents and there is not a scintilla of evidence that Maggie Brooks was in any way shape or form involved in any of the charges alleged in this indictment, Vacco said.
In response to the allegations, there are some changes coming to the way LDCs are handled.
Brooks announced that there will be three steps taken to improve LDCs:
- The contract with Navitech will be terminated immediately
- The countys relationship with any subcontractors implicated during the investigation will be severed
- The county has hired former Rochester Police Chief David Moore to oversee both LDC boards
I have one goal to accomplish tonight and that is to preserve the integrity of these projects and protect the taxpayers, Brooks said. That's what I do. My job now is to make sure we maintain what we created. The merits of the projects are good, so we have to preserve the good and we have to make sure that the tax payers are protected.
While some might considered these allegations a black mark on her administration, Brooks made it clear shes here to stay.
I am the county executive today and I am going to be the county executive tomorrow and I have two more years left on my term so you are going to see a lot of me.