Well placed sources have told Niagara Times that the former State Assemblywoman Francine DelMonte, who lost to John Ceretto in 2010, is poised to become the next Comptroller on the City of Niagara Falls. This news, of course, will likely come as a shock to current Comptroller Maria Brown.
After losing to Ceretto, DelMonte has searched high and low for a job, to no avail. She's tried to call in every favor she possibly could, but no one has shown any inclination to help her. Frankly, this speaks volumes about DelMonte. Her adversarial and divisive ways of interacting with people have always been her Achilles heel, and that was proven in last year's election. Even since the election, she has shown what an petty tyrant she is, from wiping out all of her public files and computer records to her refusal to ever congratulate Ceretto to her most recent unintelligible rants on social media outlets.
Nobody wants to be associated with her, so no one has given her a job - thus the nearly 12 months of unemployment. That being said, the one ally she has kept close is Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster, who barely squeaked out a win over Johnny Destino last month. While Dyster's own political capital is virtually non-existent, he does control a few jobs here and there, including Comptroller. That's where DelMonte comes in.
"Paul Dyster does like DelMonte, but more than that, he's afraid of her," said a source within the county Democrats. "He knew that if he didn't make this deal with her to appoint her Comptroller, she would not support him in the election. Given how close his race with Destino was, it looks like he made the right decision."
"The problem now for Dyster is that it's time to pay the piper," said the source. "Given the strength of Maria Brown's political connections, he will undoubtedly face some political pressure to leave Maria in place or find another spot in his administration for her." Brown is married to Pat Brown of Brown & Company, an accounting firm who has donated generously to local Democrats.
It will be interesting to see if DelMonte's postpones her retirement, which she filed a few months ago. Given her age and 30 years working off the public teet, DelMonte is poised to rake in about $60k a year, state-tax free, along with free lifetime health insurance. Would DelMonte have the audacity to take the city's six figure salary on top of the bounty she'll be reaping courtesy of the state? We'll likely know soon enough.