MAYVILLE - District Attorney David Foley will review the felony charge against the county's Democratic Election Commissioner, which was brought to him by state Assembly candidate Andy Goodell on Wednesday.
Foley had yet to "digest or determine" anything as of 5 p.m. Wednesday, having only received Goodell's request earlier in the day.
"It is my job as district attorney to take a look at anything like this," Foley said. "So that's what I'm going to do. It's the same as any other situation."
Goodell's contention is that Norman P. Green, the county's Democratic election commissioner, violated sections of the state's election law.
The issue was the subject of a recent court case which Goodell, the Republican-backed candidate for state Assembly, filed in July. County Supreme Court Justice James Dillon had initially dismissed the election law case, but a state appellate court decision forced a hearing to take testimony on the issue. Dillon subsequently ruled in Goodell's favor - a decision which stripped Goodell's Democratic opponent, Nancy Bargar, of the Independence Party line on this November's ballot.
In pursuing a felony charge against Green, Goodell is pointing to a section of the election law which states:
"A public officer or employee who knowingly and willfully omits, refuses or neglects to perform any act required of him by [the Election Law] or who knowingly and willfully refuses to permit the doing of any act authorized by [the Election Law] or who knowingly and willfully hinders or delays or attempts to hinder or delay the performance of such an act is, if not otherwise provided by law, guilty of a felony."
Based on Green's own testimony, Dillon found that the election inspector "did not intend" a document to be processed in a timely manner.
Mr. Goodell forwarded to the District Attorney a copy of the transcript and related documents, and asked that the DA "review this matter and take whatever steps are reasonable and appropriate."
Responding to the news Wednesday, Green wrote that Goodell's true motive and true goal have been made evident by his request of the district attorney.
"Thirteen days before his election contest and attempt to reinvent himself from his days as county executive, he issues an 'October Surprise' self-serving press release calling on the district attorney to investigate what Goodell is framing as a crime against his own political campaign," Green wrote in a statement to The OBSERVERl.
"The truth is that Goodell brought the original court action to strip the Independence Party nomination from Nancy Bargar, his Democratic opponent," Green continued. "That was the relief he asked the court to provide and that is what the court ordered. As part of Goodell's newest spinning of the issue, he called it 'Norm Green's trial.' The real and only truth is that this was about Andy Goodell using the courts to gain Election Day ballot advantage."
Goodell alleges that Green's actions were an intentional and deliberate attempt to hide critical election documents, actions which he criticizes as being directly contrary to the purpose and intent of the Board of Elections.
"The main purpose of my election campaign is to focus attention on my detailed plans to dramatically cut spending and taxes, cut expensive mandates and regulations, and grow our local economy, but I did not want this illegal conduct to be swept under the rug," Goodell said. "I am determined to fight fraud and corruption here, as well as in Albany."
Green concluded his statement by saying he was candid and completely honest in his courtroom testimony regarding the document in question.
"There is nothing new to learn," Green wrote. "In error, I allowed the Independence Party declination of Bill Parment to sit on my desk. I admit that I fell short of personal goal of election administration perfection. It is unfortunate, however, that Andy Goodell is now doing this to the election process as part of his personal 'October Surprise' vehicle to win this election."