To the untrained eye, it may have seemed like business as usual at Wednesday night's Halfmoon Town Council meeting. But as YNN's Matt Hunter reports, that's because board members are trying to remain focused while the town's supervisor is the subject of a reported FBI investigation.
HALFMOON, N.Y. – The focus of Wednesday night's Halfmoon Town Board meeting seemed to be all business.
Though not addressed publicly, few could ignore the tension surrounding Town Supervisor Mindy Wormuth. Two weeks ago, the Times Union first revealed she and her husband are the subject of an FBI investigation. Wednesday marked her first meeting since that report.
"Any of that can be referred to my attorney, Stewart Jones,” Wormuth said while briefly addressing reporters after the meeting. “As far as staying on to the end of the year, I was elected to serve through December 31st and that's my intention."
Prior to the last meeting, which Wormuth failed to attend, town board members released a statement asking for her resignation. With that now seeming unlikely before her term ends January 1st, board members say they're left with no choice but to focus on regular business and take a more active role in day-to-day matters.
"They have a right to ask for anything they'd like," Wormuth said when asked about continue to work with the board.
"It's an uncomfortable situation, no doubt about it, but we have business to take care of," town board member Craig Hayner said.
"We need to get this budget done,” board member John Wasielewski said. “We have a $4 million budget that time will not wait for."
Bruce Rischert was the lone town resident to address the matter during public comment. He suggested an ordinance that would ban anyone implicated in any illegal activities from doing business with the town.
"I would think legislation should be passed to prevent that from happening," Rischert said.
A second newspaper report claimed the investigation centers around bribes Wormuth may have accepted for lobbying on behalf of legalizing mixed martial arts in New York.
With a cloud of uncertainty surrounding town hall, board members remain confident they can still work effectively.
“There are five of us on the board,” Wasielewski said. “It's still ‘majority rules.’ I think we're all going to make this work and come to a consensus for the residents of the town."
Wormuth is not seeking re-election next month. E. Stewart Jones, an Albany attorney, has confirmed he's been retained to represent Wormuth and her husband.