Almost two months after they were publicly released,
Clarkstown Councilman Frank Borelli asked for an ethics committee investigation
of Frank Sparaco’s secretly recorded tapes. Excerpts of the taped conversations,
which Sparaco had with Borelli, highway department Fleet Manager Dennis Malone
and Rockland County Democratic attorney Larry Weissman, were disclosed in mid
Borelli’s motion, which was passed by the town board on Tuesday, asked for an investigation of Highway Department Constituent Services Representative Sparaco, Malone, Highway Superintendent Wayne Ballard and himself. Borelli said it was incumbent on the board to make sure all actions and activities of town employees and town officials conformed to Clarkstown’s Code of Ethics. He also requested copies of the reported eight hours of videotapes and recordings be turned over to the town attorney’s office.
“In addition the town board should request that Mr. Sparaco provide a copy of all unedited video and audio tapes he recorded with an unbroken timeline to the town attorney to hold until such time as the videotapes are requested by the Board of Ethics for their review,” said Borelli.
Sparaco, who is also a county legislator, representative with the highway department, claimed the tapes showed a pattern of attempted bribery and threats in an effort to get him to use his third party influence in the highway superintendent race. Malone, a Democrat, is running against Ballard, the incumbent and a Republican. In Tuesday’s primary, Ballard gained the Independence and Conservative Party lines and Malone got the Working Families Party line.
Councilwoman Stephanie Hausner spoke about her support for the resolution.
“The reason I seconded Councilman Borelli’s motion was I do really fell like we need to take these allegations seriously,” she said. “We need to take this videotape seriously. We need to let the Board of Ethics look into the events that have occurred over the summer.”
The Board of Ethics has five members: Rabbi Jeffrey Abraham, Sister Patricia Hogan, Father Bruce Woodcock, Father William Cosgrove and Rabbi David Fass. Rabbi Abraham, who chairs the board, said he expects the members will meet within the next few weeks to begin the investigative process. The board’s attorney is Deputy Town Attorney Jeffrey Millman.
At the Tuesday night meeting, New City resident Tom Nimick asked the town board to relieve Millman of his Board of Ethics duties because of a possible conflict.
“This past week Mr. Millman, a deputy town attorney, was in court representing a partisan position concerning ballot petitions. How is such activity consistent with his employment as a full-time deputy town attorney, who should be ‘seen to be acting solely in the public interest’?” asked Nimick, who suggested the town board hire independent counsel to advise the Board of Ethics.
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