January 15, 2009

Ellis Drops The Ball

In light of revelations that attorney Ed Shoemaker owes as much as $108,000 in unpaid federal income taxes, Shoemaker took a leave of absence from his law firm, Andrews, Pusateri, Brandt, Shoemaker & Roberson. Shoemaker and his firm currently serve as town attorneys in Cambria and Somerset.

Upon learning of the situation, the Somerset Town Board made the decision to put out a request for proposals for town legal services. Good for them. It's enlightening to see elected officials who are willing to stand up for what's right.

The Town of Cambria Supervisor, Wright Ellis, could learn a few things from the folks in Somerset. Ellis has indicated that he will keep the embattled attorney's firm on to handle the town's legal services.

Exactly what kind of message are you sending with this decision, Wright? Are you saying that you condone Shoemaker's actions? Are you accepting of the fact that the tax dollars of YOUR constituents are going to be used to pay off this debt because of the wage garnishment order that you've been given by the IRS?

In addition, what the hell was the Cambria Town Board thinking when they passed a resolution last week giving Ellis the final decision on hiring attorneys? If you're too cowardly to actually make decisions as a town board member, why are you on the damn board?

We were hopeful that someone on the Cambria board would take a stand against this despicable decision. But, when you're dealing with one tyrant and a few of his serfs, hope and expectations are two very different things.


Frank DeGeorge said...

Wright Ellis is part of the problem in Niagara County. Nice guy. Been around a long time. And probably hasn't had an original thought in 25 years.

Must keep same town attonerys because that's how we've always done it. Same thing with town engineers. Must not consolidate any services with the county or other towns. Must protect fiefdom.

These are the so-called leaaders who are holding our community back.

Clark Griswold said...

What is puzzling to me is the fact that the town board appeared to be open to suggestions for steps to hiring a new law firm, then proceeded to defer to Ellis. Very interesting indeed....