November 20, 2007

The Comptroller Invades Somerset

If I asked you, politically speaking, what is the most interesting locality in Niagara County, what would you say? Niagara Falls? North Tonawanda? Maybe the Town of Lockport? Well, you’d be wrong. Right now, the most interesting place is the tiny Town of Somerset.

As all of you know, Somerset is the home of the AES Powerplant and the issues around that have been well-documented. So too have the issues with local attorney Ed Shoemaker and his ironclad grip over the town, the town’s refusal to release Shoemaker’s legal bills and the bottom line that suing AES has been a cottage industry for Ed.

Well, right now a recount is going on that could determine whether the pro or anti Shoemaker forces control town board. A dozen votes one way or the other could mean a monumental shift.

But that’s tomorrow’s story. The real news – AND SOMETHING YOU’RE HEARING HERE FIRST – is that the state comptroller’s office has invaded Somerset Town Hall and have begun pouring over those secret legal billings. That’s right, this powder keg that has been simmering for a while could very well explode and change the face of town politics forever. Who knows where the comptroller’s investigation will go, but anyone who is part of the old guard in Somerset must be nervous.


Larry S said...

Looks like not only is has the AES gravy train come to its final stop, the cronies that have abused the town's finances are finally going to face the fire.

Kudos to Meyers, finally someone in Somerset had the cajones to stand up to Fast Eddy. If I recall correctly, Meyers is the one to call in the Comptroller's office to analyze the town's legal bills.

Having the Comptroller in cannot be a good thing for anyone looking to hide things.

This is going to get very interesting.

Pete Mitchell said...

Wouldn't be something we're reading here first, as opposed to hearing here first?

Either way, congratulations on the story, hopefully the newspapers will pick it up and run with it.

I'd love to hear (read) Shoemaker's take on the investigation.

Fat Tony said...

There's one axiom you can count on when the comptroller comes to town: they will always find something was not done the right way. It always comes down to degree of magnitude. They don't like people hiding things, which doesn't bode well for Ed and his followers.

Becky said...

just got back from office max...I have burned up a few shredders the past few days. fast eddie shreddie, do you still have the uncooked set of files in your FLA condo?

larock said...

ha ha, you guys can't find me. I am consulting for barker schools from my boat on the big lake. I bet my other cousin leardini has purged on his way out. we were ready for the controller...not sure if Somerset's special districts will fare as well

pizzaman said...

Is it any coincidence the clerk came out as a witch for halloween?

Anonymous said...

There will come a point in time when the dust settles, previous settlement negotiations are discussed, clearer minds prevail and people begin to ask some rather simple questions:

What did we get for the money spent on Mr. Shoemaker?

Has Mr. Shoemaker been forthcoming in disclosing his bills?

If not, why not?

Did Barker School/Somerset reject any offers that were better than the result?

Could they have done better?

What value did we get for our tax $?