Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Selectman admits to mistake

New Hartford First Selectman Earl MacInnes has admitted he made a mistake in signing contracts with town employees Donald G. Birden and Daniel B. LeGeyt without first talking to the other two selectmen.

The contracts were both voided by the Board of Selectmen on Friday after a town attorney had said they were not legal.

In November 2008, LeGeyt, who is the town’s highway department supervisor, signed a contract with MacInnes guaranteeing generous vacation and overtime pay-out provisions subsequently valued by Town Treasurer Blake Hall at $28,000.

On March 26, Birden signed into a long term rental agreement with MacInnes to lease the town-owned Brodie House property at 550 West Hill Road at what was later described by a number of officials as well below market rate.The contracts, which went undisclosed until April, touched off a political controversy among town officials and voters.

“I’m sorry that I made an error in judgement," MacInnes said. "I apologize to the town for that, to the board of selectmen, and to the people displaced in the agreements.”

MacInnes said he hopes New Hartford’s voters understood that he made a mistake.
“We’re always learning,” he said.



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