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8 Comments by WingMan

Deal gives Kabot GOP nod for reelection

The Southampton Town Republican Party got it right the first time. It's time for a change!" Jul 23, 09 11:18 AM

Police deficit the result of town officials' mismanagement, report says

It seems pretty obvious that whoever is in charge of overseeing the police budget should have known that the numbers didn't add up. Even without being directly responsible for the accounting shenanigans, someone knew what was going on and chose to turn a blind eye to the egregious practices that covered up complete irresponsibility on the part of everyone involved; the police management, the comptroller, the board members and the supervisor. It's the same old, same old. The damage is done, so now they are trying to deflect responsibility. The only thing missing is who's going to be the "fall guy." Linda Kabot isn't going to take the hit— she just blames the previous supervisor and any other convenient scapegoat. This recent FTI report seems to let police management off the hook... So who's it going to be? Who's going to hang for the irresponsible behavior of the politicians? Rest assured, they'll find someone to sacrifice." Jul 23, 09 11:57 AM

Lt. William Hughes named Republican nominee for vacant Southampton Town Board seat

Police and Politics. They do seem to converge every so often. I suspect that Mr. Hughes would, if elected, be tough on collective bargaining since it would no longer have effect on his income. On the other hand, I would also suspect that Mr. Hughes would want to spend, spend, spend on policing in other ways. I can envision him increasing the police budget for anything and everything but salaries and benefits. Another conspicuous point is that outstanding cops don't necessarily make good managers. We are in dire need of someone with good management skills. In my opinion, Mr. Hughes lacks not only the qualifications, but the common skills necessary to manage— whether it's policemen, common people or the Town of Southampton. This seems like a blatant attempt by the Republican Party to ingratiate themselves with the police department and the public after the bumbling errors of the past." Jan 14, 10 5:33 PM

Race for vacant seat on Southampton Town Board heats up

As this "This race for vacant seat... heats up," It's interesting to note that Lt. William Hughes is still currently employed as a police officer. Obviously he knows if he wins the election, he'll have to resign his position. In the meantime, he seems to want to play it safe by keeping his job lest he lose. Has anyone bothered to note that New York State Election Law, Article 17, section 110, sub-division 3 as it applies to police commissioners and police officer prohibits "any person who, being a... member of any police force..." from soliciting, collecting or receiving money for any political fund club, association, society or committee. and that any person who does so is guilty of a misdemeanor? Regardless of who's running or going to win, the law is the law. If Mr. Hughes is going to run for political office, he needs to resign his position before soliciting or accepting one penny in political contributions. Unless the Republican Party is offering only it's endorsement of the candidate and the candidate is going to fund his own campaign, the candidate needs to resign from his position as a police officer— after that, the race can "heat up." " Jan 24, 10 1:58 AM

Attorney General Opn. No. 99-35 addresses a number of issues; one of those being whether a city police officer could hold a county elected position. Whether a town police officer can hold a town elected position is not addressed. Even so, the decision goes on to concur with 17-110 (3) which make it a misdemeanor offense for a police officer to solicit or accept campaign contributions for himself or anyone else." Jan 26, 10 10:09 AM

Nail on the head, SHNative. The law was designed to prevent abuse of police power. Aside from being highly unethical to solicit or collect contributions while still a police officer it was made illegal to prevent the abuse of a highly visible (and highly powerful) public position from being misused. There is only a breach of the public trust if in fact campaign money is solicited or accepted while still employed as a police officer. There's some simple remedies to prevent committing these misdemeanor crimes. I'm hoping it's all figured out in due course before it's too late. " Jan 27, 10 10:22 AM

Questions are raised over Town Board candidate's fund-raising restrictions

The comments regarding this issue are all over the place. There is an obvious intent behind the election law and the rules of the police department cited in this blog. This would be a non issue if Mr. Hughes was, in fact, actually retired from his police officer position. It would stop the bantering over propriety and let the candidates get on to the real issues that affect the town. Before stepping into a voting booth, I think everyone (from both sides of the partisan aisle) deserves to hear what they have to say for themselves. This whole "controversy" can be easily avoided and dismantled if Mr. Hughes "officially" retired. The issues that might arise within the police department if he should lose and decide to keep his job could be avoided as well. Time to dismantle the issue and move on to what matters. This candidate has a right to run for political office. He has an obligation to avoid any sense of impropriety." Feb 4, 10 6:48 PM

Some observations on both sides of this issue have some validity.
Mr. Conklin at the Board of Elections is correct that there's nothing wrong with a police officer running a political campaign. He offered his interpretation of the law as it applies to a police officer who: “solicits, collects or receives any money for any political fund, club, association, society or committee...” The Board of Elections is charged with overseeing elections and political campaigns. They are not the sole entity charged with enforcing New York statutes.
In the past, political candidates in similar situations have consulted with the Attorney General's office and been given clear opinions on a variety of matters regarding election laws. This sort of inquiry is best when submitted prior to engaging in any political activity that's even remotely questionable. The opinion of the Attorney General would certainly hold more weight than the opinion of a private attorney.
Perhaps if this had occurred, there would be no need to "step back" from the financial management of the campaign." Feb 5, 10 3:33 PM