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a. The power to distribute or appoint people to governmental or political positions.

b. The act of distributing or appointing people to such positions.

c. The positions so distributed or filled.

The Monroe County Water Authority has no doubt been a bastion of Republican patronage for a long time. The appointment of Pittsford Supervisor Bill Carpenter to a deputy director position that had been vacant for seven years was another example. Previous appointments:

  • Former County Legislature President Dennis Pelletier served as director.
  • Former County Legislature president, Wayne Zyra was hired by the authority.
  • Former County Communications Director Jim Smith worked as deputy director.
  • Former Greece GOP chairman Ed Marianetti served as water authority director.
  • John Stanwix, former chairman of the Monroe County GOP, served as authority director and was convicted of steering contracts to a consulting firm while on the authority payroll.
  • County Executive Maggie Brooks’ husband was director of security and is now a consultant.

Monroe County Republicans have rightly been raked over the coals for awarding jobs and contracts to friends and political supporters. The Water Authority is one of the worst examples. The party’s close relationship with county government is apparent to even casual observers. County employees are active in politics, whether it’s by choice or an expectation of the job.

But let’s be honest. Local Democrats are also guilty of patronage, though it’s not as concentrated or obvious. Here are some examples:

James Sheppard – Rochester’s police chief is connected to Former Mayor Bob Duffy, who once served as police chief. Duffy made Sheppard head of his Office of Public Integrity. On his way out the door, Duffy named Sheppard police chief.

George Markert – The head of the Office of Public Integrity and former deputy police chief is also connected to Duffy through his years in the police department.

David Moore – After his ouster as police chief, Moore was given the job of heading up the Office of Public Integrity. (Sensing a theme here?) Moore is now head of security for Monroe Community College.

Patricia Malgieri – Her husband was Duffy’s campaign treasurer. When Duffy was elected, he made Malgieri his deputy mayor. She now works for the RCSD as the superintendent’s special assistant.

Molly Clifford – The former chairwoman of the Monroe County Democratic Committee supported Duffy early in his campaign. He made her head of the neighborhood service centers. When her job was eliminated, she became a fire department administrator. Now she’s interim director of the parking bureau.

Mike Green – After his confirmation to the federal bench was scuttled, the governor gave the former district attorney a job as Executive Deputy Commissioner of the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services. There’s no one in the top job, because state chiefs make less money than deputies.

Vincent Esposito – The former county legislator and staff member to Assemblyman Joe Morelle was recently appointed to a job with Empire State Development.

Scott GaddyGantt was accused of trying to hook up his former protege when he suddenly supported red light cameras – but only the kind of cameras for which Gaddy’s firm was lobbying.

Ben Douglas – Duffy gave the city councilman a plum job in the city’s legal department, even though he’s not a lawyer. Many believed this was done to pave the way for Lovely Warren’s appointment to City Council. She was later elected to the seat. Warren works in Gantt’s office as his counsel.

Darryl Porter – Duffy made the former Rochester school board president his special assistant, a job he holds today under Mayor Tom Richards.

Don’t even get me started on the nonprofits (*cough* Baden Street Settlement *cough* Hillside Work Scholarship) that have benefited from close ties to powerful Democrats and vice versa.

None of this is to say the people who get these jobs or contracts are not qualified or deserving. Americans, however, hold their noses at patronage because we believe in equal access to opportunity. Meanwhile, we all know connections do indeed matter in any field.

Especially government.

Links of the Day:

– Kodak has secured financing to emerge from bankruptcy.

– Do you think the city got down on its hands and knees and begged Larry Glazer to join the Midtown project?

– The Republican Party is learning it can’t ignore cities.

– Here’s one war on drugs that’s working. Do you think it’s because people figured out there’s nothing fun about bath salts?

11 Responses to Democrats Do It, Too

  1. November 12, 2012 at 7:14 pm Not a kodak fan responds:

    There is without doubt too much patronage in the democratic party but come on now the republicans here take the cake. They have made it into an art.

  2. Not a kodak fan must not work for the city because Republicans can’t hold a candle to Dems on this one. There just aren’t enough 6 figure appointee jobs in county gov’t to allow for the crookedness that the Dems have mastered. Was the critical position created for Molly filled since she left? Malgieri took a HUGE pay raise (along with Budget Bill from City Hall) to move to the school side with no outrage from the press. Gantt/Warren is as obvious as it gets. Markert/Moore/Shepard has Duffy prints all over it in a bad way. Oh, how about Mr. Porter, the guy who is on film singlehandedly taking credit for moving the 1964 riots from Joesph Ave to Corn Hill? No problem with him but let a civil service plumber with decades on the job collect scrap copper from jobs in a 5 gallon bucket to then cash in on some subs for his co-workers and the Office of (couch) Integrity ruins the guy and his career ends. Both sides are as crooked as a stream through the mountains. Score doesn’t matter, that is what The Parties use to blind the fools who follow them.

  3. November 12, 2012 at 7:51 pm Eduardo Ricardo responds:

    This is one of those things that makes you laugh, but want to cry.

  4. November 12, 2012 at 8:10 pm RaChaCha responds:

    *cough* 14621 Association, where the executive director is now David Gantt guy George Moses. In 2005, the only thing that kept Gantt-backed Moses from being elected to the county legislature was anti-Gantt folks convincing another candidate to run, who beat him in the primary. Last I knew, 14621 board president is Ernest Flagler, who has been playing ball with the Gantt team for a couple of years now. Could that have anything to do with Moses’ hiring there…?

  5. “There is without doubt too much patronage in the democratic party but come on now the republicans here take the cake. They have made it into an art.”

    Reminds me of the line in Blues Brother “come on Baby you going to believe me or your eyes? Oh Jakie!”

    DEMs aren’t as bad they are worse. But the local rags never report on that one. Good Job Rachel setting the record straight and FAIR

    Again, Red is gray and Yellow White, but we decide which is right and which is an illusion”

  6. November 13, 2012 at 7:04 am Mark Giardina responds:

    Unlike the one-sided editorial in Monday’s Democrat & Chronicle, I am glad that you mentioned that both political parties hand out patronage jobs.

    In the case of Bill Carpenter, at least he has prior experience having run the the town of Penfield’s public works department before being elected supervisor.

  7. How can anyone possibly defend Carpenter’s hiring? The job had been vacant 7 years. If you possibly believe that, call me. I’ve got a bride in Brooklyn for sale.
    And Maggie on TV saying how sick she is of the criticism? What a crock.
    Any questions now about why she got her butt kicked at the polls?

    • bridge in Brooklyn. I own it, I really do. I bought it from the Monroe County Water Authority with a check payable to M Brooks political campaign

  8. Wait what do you mean that both sides are guilty of corruption and chronism? Let’s face it, hard work doesn’t get you where it should. It is unfortunately a who you know world now. I wish I knew some of these people, maybe I would be better off, oh well.

  9. Great article with factual examples. I don’t like any of it. It doesn’t matter if it’s Dems or Repubs, it isn’t right. The lack of a responsible media is responsible for the absence of a community response. Unless its on TV or in the newspaper, how is the average public to know? As for the Water Authority job….you mean to tell me that position has not been filled for 7 years and now you want to give it to the Pittsford Town Supervisor? This ranks right up there with the Molly Clifford Fire Department job. This is “criminal”.

  10. November 13, 2012 at 10:19 am Peking Humonculous responds:

    THANK YOU, Rachel Barnhart, for writing this article. It is important for everyone to see that neither party holds the monopoly on corruption. Rather corruption is born out of power. The sooner we all see that neither party is working in America’s favor and both parties deserve more scrutiny from their members the sooner we will work together to change it! Honestly, the older I get the more I think both parties only exist to put the citizens of this country at odds with each other so each party can benefit from it!

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