Saturday, June 09, 2007

Bombshell in the NGB

As far as political battles go, North Greenbush is a free-fire zone. And that’s just between Democrats.

A letter in the June 1 edition of The Advertiser by Dem Chairman Jeffrey Spain launched a real bombshell the direction of the Dan Ashley-CB Smith faction of the party. Spain won a round of primaries and a leadership battle that resulted in Ashley and Smith being removed from the committee this spring.

“Information has also been presented to the District Attorney seeking an accounting of $21,000 spent by the committee during Ashley and Smith’s leadership, with several thousand dollars paid to Ashley.”

We did some digging and learned that Spain has attempted to get information from Ashley, Smith and Josh Sabo, who served as treasurer of the committee, for about three months justifying the expenses. And so far, Spain has gotten nothing back.

Where it gets dicey for Ashley, CB and Sabo is New York State Election Law, which requires that receipts be maintained for five years. If Ashley was paid party money in, say, 2004, he should have the receipts. The absence of the receipts is troubling and raises questions.

It also raises the possibility of an investigation by the DA or others in law enforcement of where exactly the money went. Our sources learned that Spain’s camp has turned over very detailed records of the financial dealings done by Ashley, CB and Sabo, and that no one on Spain’s side is ready to drop the issue any time soon.

The Advertiser letter may explain why people have been heard yelling in CB’s direction: “Where’s the 21,000?” It’s a real possibility that question may be answered in a courtroom real soon.