Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Missing Links

The shock from the bombshell revelations about county Dem boss Tom Wade’s alleged shakedown of county employees continues to reverberate. We hear more is to come.

Two former Board of Elections employees, Archie Robinson and Dick Weaver, gave statements about the shakedown scheme. Robinson said that Wade demanded payments from the BOE employees, equivalent to 2 percent of their salary. If true, that would constitute a federal Hobbs Act violation. Weaver said that his former colleagues at the BOE told him of the shakedown.

Word on the street is that the shakedowns by Wade were payback for the BOE employees not supporting Wade when he pulled off a sneak attack on his former co-chair Lynne Mahoney. Boss Wade called the contribution an “assessment”.

Robinson said that Wade demanded more than $300. Commissioner Ed McDonough, who Wade is said to dislike, paid more in contributions, according to sources. What is curious is that the Rensselaer County Democratic Committee’s financial filing for January 2007 listed all the BOE employees and their “assessments” except for the “assessments” paid by McDonough and Robinson. An attempt to hide the facts? Or will the committee do the right thing and list the “assessment” on their July 15 filing?

More tomorrow on what may be the smoking gun in the shakedown scheme.