County Executive Maggie Brooks has responded to the arrest of her husband, Robert Wiesner, and three other individuals in relation to an investigation into Local Development Organizations (LDCs).
The Attorney General’s office has brought charges against the men, claiming they were involved in a scheme to rig the bidding process for multimillion-dollar county contracts, fraudulently steering tax-payer dollars to specific corporations.
Brooks declined to comment directly on the arrest of her husband, saying she’s not in the business of discussing personal issues.
“You know there’s two things I don’t talk about personnel issues and personal issues, my husband is a personal issue. I will tell you that I’m the County Executive today, I’m going to be the County Executive tomorrow and I believe I have two more years left on my term”
However, she did defend the LDCs that have been the focus of the investigation.
The Attorney General’s office has scrutinized two corporations, Upstate Telecommunications Corporation (UTC) and Monroe Safety and Security Systems, better known as M3S.
Brooks says both projects have been, and continue to be, valuable to the county.
“The merits of these projects are good. So we have to preserve the good and make sure that tax payers are protected and the public money is protected. And we’ll move forward and continue to cooperate so that we can continue to improve these projects going forward,” she says.
Former U.S. Attorney, Dennis Vacco was hired by the county in July to conduct an internal investigation into claims that the two LDCs were involved in unethical and illegal activity.
He says when it comes to Brooks, he’s certain she had no involvement.
“There is not a scintilla of evidence that would suggest that Maggie Brooks was in any way shape or form involved in any of the charges that are alleged in this indictment,” Vacco says.
Vacco says as part of his investigation he has suggested changes that will be put in place to protect the integrity of the LDC projects.
One such suggestion involves the corporations cutting ties with their lead contractor, Navitech Services Corporation.
Navitech is run by John Maggio, one of the four men indicted for a range of charges including fraud and money laundering.
And, Vacco says there were enough discrepancies in his findings related to this company to warrant immediate action to sever connections.
“The County Executive is ordering that M3S and UTC boards immediately terminate all current business relationships with Navitech Services Corporation, the lead contractor for both projects,” he says.
Vacco says both he and Brooks continue to cooperate with the Attorney General’s investigation.