An ongoing state investigation into Monroe County's use of Local Development Corporations has led to an indictment against a consultant hired by one of those LDC's.
Dan Lynch didn't work directly for the LDC in question, called Upstate Telecommunications. He was a sales executive of Siemens Building Technologies...and also worked for Navitech. Navitech was hired by Upstate Telecomm as a consultant on a multi-million dollar project to upgrade the county's emergency communications system.
The charges against Lynch claim he stole $75,000 from both Siemens and Upstate Telecomm, and hid it by creating a false copier maintenance contract. The state says the money actually went for a VIP tent at the 2008 PGA Senior Championship at Oak Hill. Lynch pleaded not guilty on Tuesday in State Supreme Court and was released on his own recognizance.
The indictment was jointly announced by State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli. DiNapoli has been highly critical of LDCs including Upstate Telecomm which he audited in 2011.
DiNapoli said "LDCs that operate outside the public eye routinely abuse taxpayer dollars and must be subject to independent review. I thank Attorney General Schneiderman and his office for their thorough work in following up on our audit findings."
The Monroe County Legislature's minority leader -- Democrat Carrie Andrews -- said her party has had long-running concerns about what the LDCs are doing behind closed doors. She told 13 WHAM TV that they're handling millions of dollars without oversite by elected officials.
The Republican county administration says the LDCs manage projects more efficiently and save money.
County Executive Maggie Brooks did not go before microphones but issued the following statement:
"An officer of a private company that serves as a sub-contractor for a public Local Development Corporation was today indicted on criminal charges. This comes as the result of an investigation in which Monroe County continues to cooperate. The County is now working closely with respected former State Attorney General and U.S. Attorney Dennis Vacco to explore all options to safeguard the continuity of our technology and public safety communications infrastructure. We will continue to do everything in our power to protect the continuity of updated communications technologies for First Responders while making whatever changes are deemed necessary to ensure the efficient and ethical handling of taxpayer dollars."