Last Friday, we broke the story of North Tonawanda Democratic Committee Chairman Mark Houghton landing a groundskeeper position at the New York Power Authority at about $50,000 a year. A week later, Buffalo News staffer Aaron Besecker jumped on our bandwagon, doing a follow-up story about the hiring.
In Besecker's piece, Houghton defends the hiring, saying, "Nobody got me a job.” Houghton went on to tell the News that he applied for a janitor job at the power authority in October and passed the test. We don't have any reason to believe that he didn't take a test, nor would we have any reason to doubt that he scored well enough to pass.
What do have a concern with is the massive inconsistencies in the hiring practices of the Power Authority. In fact, what we have learned should be cause for concern for the entire region.
It seems that NYPA does indeed have a test for critical positions such as groundskeepers and maintenance staff. What they don't have is a test for security personnel. It stems from Senator Antoine Thompson's repeated attempts to get his friends and family jobs in the security department within the Power Authority, and the repeated inability of these people to pass the required exam.
So Thompson had the New York Power Authority waive the security department exam that had previously been required for the sole purpose of ensuring employment for his friends and family. Yes, you read that correctly.
Since the waiving of the exam, Thompson has had NYPA hire a bevy of family and friends at the Niagara Power Project.
The Lewiston Power Project is the single largest terrorist target in the state. Because Antoine Thompson is bound and determined to find employment for his idiot friends and family, and because they're too stupid to pass a basic skills test, that facility is now at a greater risk than it was 18 months ago.