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FBI revives its probe of Prattsville storm-aid funding

Sep 25, 2019 1:30 pm
Brendan J. Lyons is reporting for the Times Union federal law enforcement officials have revived a criminal investigation into the town of Prattsville's use of more than $5 million in aid from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development received in the aftermath of a series of devastating storms in 2011 and 2012. The FBI investigation is currently pending before a federal grand jury in Albany. The probe is focused on grant applications submitted by Prattsville town Supervisor Kory O'Hara. Accusations have persisted since 2013, that town officials misused tens of thousands of dollars in aid and had refused to release their spending records. When contacted by a reporter this week, O'Hara's attorney, William J. Dreyer, declined to comment. Prattsville was leveled during Hurricane Irene in August 2011. The federal aid received was used to help rebuild homes and businesses, and to pay for two new bridges, the reconstruction of Main Street and a recreation complex. The decisions on how the public funds were spent were made by a 12-member planning committee that included O'Hara and Councilwoman Bonita Chase, the deputy supervisor. Town Clerk Kathleen Sherman confirmed the town board September 9, voted to re-hire Thomas A. Capezza, a former assistant U.S. attorney and general counsel for the State Police. The town hired Capezza in 2017 to help it respond to federal subpoenas. The subpoenas called for documents related to the funds receive through the New York Rising Community Reconstruction Plan. Read the full story in the Times Union.
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