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 Gaddy – Gantt 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.
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?