Halfmoon town Supervisor Mindy Wormuth is being urged to resign by all of her colleagues on the Town Board after it became public that she is the subject of an inquiry by federal law enforcement.
Board members Walter Polak, Paul Hotaling, John Wasielewski and Craig Hayner issued a news release Tuesday morning asking Wormuth to resign because she has become an “ineffective” leader.
“It is time to consider putting the residents of the town of Halfmoon first and foremost,” the release read.
Urged to resign
Read the letter on the Around Saratoga blog.
Hayner said Wormuth has been a constant distraction for several months, and the board felt it was time to move on. He stressed the call for her to resign did not suggest the board members believe Wormuth is guilty of anything.
Wormuth announced in a news release later Tuesday that she would decline the invitation to leave office before her term expires Dec. 31, saying the request was ridiculous.
“I have neither been charged with nor convicted of any offense,” she noted, adding she would be cleared of any potential allegations of wrongdoing.
“I intend to continue to do the job I was elected to do in the position I was elected to until my term expires,” Wormuth said. “I respectfully request that each of the board members do theirs by continuing to work with me to serve our town.”
Wormuth, who was absent from the Saratoga County Board of Supervisors meeting Tuesday, was not speaking to the media, on the advice of her new counsel, prominent area defense attorney E. Stewart Jones. Jones confirmed he was hired by Wormuth and her husband, Larry.
Jones has defended numerous elected officials through trials and investigations, including the ongoing federal case against former state Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno.
“There has been a law enforcement inquiry ,and that is the reason I was hired [by the Wormuths],” he said.
Jones contended his clients have done nothing wrong.
“Everybody should stay tuned and see what evolves, if anything,” he said.
He declined to comment on details of the investigation.
Wormuth, who first took office in 2007, has been dogged by controversy in recent years, although she hasn’t been charged with any crimes. She came under fire this spring for backing the 22-year-old daughter of a local developer and Republican campaign contributor to become director of the county animal shelter.
The spring before, Wormuth resigned from the county board’s Public Works Committee because of a controversy involving property she sold to a developer whose former company was considering buying the county landfill. In 2011, Wormuth was forced to return campaign donations from developer Bruce Tanski that exceeded the legal limits for contributions, prompting an investigation by the state Board of Elections.
Wormuth is not running for re-election this fall. She initially planned to run but lost the backing of the town Republican Committee this spring and decided this summer not to fight its decision to endorse Kevin Tollisen. There is no Democratic candidate.
Hayner, who is the running unopposed for county clerk, said Halfmoon will benefit from a new vision with Tollisen.
“It will be a different leadership style,” he said.
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