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Report blasts Molinaro for buying vehicle without oversight

May 18, 2023 12:44 am

Paul Kirby reports in the Daily Freeman that a report released this week by the Dutchess County Comptroller’s Office said that a government lease of a luxury vehicle by former Republican Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro gave the “appearance of circumventing normal legislative approval (as required by a purchase) and public transparency.” Dutchess County Comptroller Robin Lois, a Democrat, wrote the report, and focused on an inventory of county vehicles between 2018 and 2023. A summary in the report said, “This report also addresses the 2021 lease of a $75,876 Chevy Tahoe by the County Executive and identifies the execution of said lease, after a 2020 purchase denial, as giving the appearance of circumventing normal legislative approval (as required by a purchase) and public transparency.... Leasing decisions should be held to the same standards as any purchase in the procurement policy by, ‘assuring the prudent and economical use of public monies in the best interest of taxpayers of Dutchess County,’ and to, ‘guard against extravagance.’ It is evident that the lease in question was not held to the same standard expected of all departments.” Molinaro did not comment on the report, but his advisor Dave Catalfamo did, avoiding mentioning anything specific in the report, saying, “Marc Molinaro’s fiscal stewardship as County Executive is indisputable.... He cut taxes, improved the county’s bond rating, and left his successor with significant reserves. This audit has been extensively reported on and thoroughly explained well before its release.” The report showed how previously county executive vehicles were purchased through bonding and budget requests that go through the Legislature for approval, while Molinaro circumvented that process. Democrat Josh Riley, who lost to Molinaro in 2022 and has announced another campaign for the 19th Congressional District in 2024, said, “It’s ironic that Marc Molinaro is lecturing voters about ‘reckless spending’ even as an independent audit concludes that he wasted taxpayers’ hard-earned money on a luxury vehicle for himself.” Read more about this story in the Daily Freeman.

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