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Statement Of The Republican Conference Of The Westchester County Board Of Legislators

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Statement Of The Republican Conference Of The Westchester County Board Of Legislators

August 17, 2008 - 12:02

The Republican Conference calls upon Chief Advisor to the Chair of the Board Gary Kriss, to take an immediate unpaid leave of absence. In light of recent developments regarding unaccounted and questionable spending practices, an investigation has begun by the District Attorney. Until the DA completes the investigation, Mr. Kriss should remain on unpaid leave. Upon completion of such investigation further action may be demanded by the Conference.

The Conference is calling for an immediate outside audit of the Board of Legislators’ expenditures from 2004 to date, the tenure of Chair Ryan. One of the reasons the Republican conference did not support Chair Ryan’s selection as Chair this January, was his insistence upon pay increases for Board leadership and a lack of inclusion of all members in Board decisions.

In addition, once the audit is complete, its findings must be made public. There must a quarterly report of all expenditures by the Board of Legislators made public through the Budget and Appropriations Committee. The Board’s budget must return to a line by line itemized budget to restore the public’s faith in the Board of Legislators’ integrity.

Mr. Kriss’ actions and the Chair’s defense of same have harmed the reputation of the entire Board of Legislators. The public has lost trust. The public must know that no members of the Republican Conference ever requested, received or availed themselves of any such perks as travel out of state or overseas or of County issued cell phones or Blackberrys. The over reaching activities of Mr. Kriss and the Chair have diverted the Board’s attention from important issues. The Board’s communications office has issued statements in the name of “the Board” when, in fact, members of the Republican Conference were never informed of or consulted about - let alone consented to such statements. This runaway train must be stopped now before more of the Board’s public trust is crushed or run over.