SCHENECTADY — The state is seeking $28,369 in unpaid state income taxes from Schenectady City Councilman Damonni Farley.
The state Department of Taxation and Finance on Sept. 13 issued a tax warrant against Farley listing $5,763 in unpaid taxes in 2016 and $8,824 in unpaid taxes in 2017. With penalties and interest, the money owed adds up to $28,369.94. The action is not a criminal proceeding.
Farley said on Monday that he is working to resolve the fiscal matter.
“This is public information and hardly a scandal,” he said. “Though I dispute the total amount owed, I have been working and continue to work toward a resolution to this matter with the Bureau of Conciliation and Mediation Services in full compliance with New York state law.”
Schenectady City Republican Committee Chairman Matt Nelligan, who has scheduled an event outside City Hall at 10 a.m. on Tuesday to discuss the matter and to propose new ethics regulations for city officials, said on Monday that Farley should resign.
The city GOP called for Farley’s resignation earlier this month after revelations that Farley had served as both a full-time employee for the Schenectady City School District and a consultant for the district from 2015 to 2021.
During the 2015-2016 school year, Farley’s Common Thread Consulting firm received $70,740 from the district to assist the district in developing and implementing strategies to help the district more effectively engage its male students of color.
The firm also was paid $90,390 in the 2016-2017 school year to provide the same services to the district.
“The bottom line is that these years match up in 2016 and 2017 with two of the years that Farley made over $160,000 as a contractor from the school district,” Nelligan said on Monday. “This shows that he wasn’t paying tax on money he was earning from taxpayers in the school district.”
Farley is currently employed with the district as a community outreach specialist.
The Common Thread consulting contract was not renewed when current Schenectady Superintendent Anibal Soler began in his current role with the district in July 2021, with the district noting that the arrangement was not illegal and that there is no evidence that the consulting contracts were approved by the Schenectady Board of Education from 2015 onward.
The consulting and full-time positions each involve working collaboratively with community leaders and engaging district families.
Nelligan, who has announced a mayoral run for this November’s general election, is calling on city officials to call for Farley’s removal from office.
“I think this just demonstrates further that Farley is unfit for office and that he should resign,” Nelligan said on Monday. “If he doesn’t resign, then [Schenectady School District Superintendent Anibal] Soler, Mayor [Gary McCarthy] and Board President [Marion] Porterfield should all condemn this behavior and call for an investigation.”