Gloversville

Report of Rowback probe in Gloversville set for Wednesday release

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GLOVERSVILLE — The Common Council will hold a special meeting Wednesday at 6 p.m. to review the findings of the council’s Special Investigation Committee probing the conduct of Councilman-at-large William Rowback Jr.

The council voted 4-1 in January to empanel a three-member committee of council members to look into “the affairs and conduct” of Rowback under a seldom used section of the city charter. The section grants the Common Council the power to conduct investigations into the affairs of any city department agency or office. The Special Investigative Committee had the power to subpoena witnesses, administer oaths, take testimony and gather evidence.

The investigative committee has a 2-1 Republican majority and includes Republican 6th Ward Councilman Wrandy L. Siarkowski, Republican 2nd Ward Councilman Arthur Simonds and Democratic 1st Ward Councilwoman Marcia Weiss.

Simonds on Monday explained what the committee will be presenting to the full council.

“There will be a written report stating basically what was said to the panel from all of the folks that spoke to the panel,” Simonds said. “Everybody will get a chance to read that report. It’s going to be extremely transparent and once it’s read, my understanding is there will be copies of it available for people to see so that everybody understands exactly what transpired and how the committee came to its conclusions.”

The probe of Rowback was initiated after the resignation and then re-hiring of city Department of Public Works Director Chris Perry, who made mention of a toxic work environment in his resignation letter and singled out Rowback in his comments.

In his letter Perry said politics in Gloversville is dirty and dysfunctional and that Rowback was contributing to the negative environment.

Rowback, a Republican, in March said he will be running for mayor against incumbent Vinccent DeSantis.

Rowback could not be reached for comment Monday.

After his campaign announcement in March, Rowback said he believes the probe to be political in its intent. He said he was questioned by the  committee, but was never told what has been alleged against him. He said he did not want to discuss his statements to the committee without his lawyer present.

Rowback said Perry’s resignation letter calls into question his enthusiasm for doing the job of DPW director.

Categories: Fulton Montgomery Schoharie, News

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