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Nov 5, 2011 2:48 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Ethics Board Dismisses Complaint Over Use Of Town Facilities In Throne-Holst Campaign Video

Nov 9, 2011 10:28 AM

The Southampton Town Ethics Board has dismissed a complaint filed by the town’s Republican Party against Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst and Town Councilwoman Bridget Fleming, claiming they violated town rules by using employees and facilities in a campaign video geared to get the two reelected.

The complaint was filed by GOP Chairman William Wright against Ms. Throne-Holst, an Independence Party member, and Ms. Fleming, a Democrat, late last month. The two elected officials are featured in a video called “The Southampton Project,” which is designed to promote the platforms of Ms. Throne-Holst, Ms. Fleming and their running mate, Town Board-hopeful Brad Bender. In the video, there are scenes of Ms. Throne-Holst and Ms. Fleming in Town Hall offices.

In a letter supplied by Ms. Throne-Holst’s campaign in a press release issued on Saturday, Ethics Board Chairwoman Michele J. LeMoal-Gray explained why the group dismissed the complaint, claiming the 
town code doesn’t prohibit “all” uses of town facilities in campaign-related activities. “It only prohibits the use of town vehicles, computers, internet, 
email, telephones and supplies for political fundraising, candidate petition drives, and distribution of campaign leaflets and materials,” Ms. LeMoal-Gray stated.

Ms. Throne-Holst and Ms. Fleming called the complaint “baseless” in the statement.

“I want to thank the Ethics Board for their swift attention to this matter, and where they have now confirmed what we certainly always knew, that the opposition has a problem with our message that partisan politics have no place in local government—not how or where it is said,” Ms. Throne-Holst stated.

On Saturday, Mr. Wright said he disagreed with the ruling, maintaining that the election video was “a clear violation in our eyes” of the section of town code regarding campaign-related activities. But he said there are no plans to appeal the decision.

“I think it is what it is,” Mr. Wright said. “Let’s just get past Tuesday.”

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Of course it's an ethical violation.

ATH dodged a bullet with this one -- just as Kabot-with-a-K did in her DWI trial.
By Frank Wheeler (1826), Northampton on Nov 5, 11 3:13 PM
Anna is not the first person to use town hall to take pictures there,because there is another town employee who had his picture taken next to Sag Habor's symbol who ran for trustee in the village,it's funny nobody said anything about that.it depends on how the shoe fits.
By taxpayer1 (72), Southampton on Nov 5, 11 3:32 PM
Okay, let me understand this - "partisan politics have no place in local government" except when its using Town Hall to make partisan political campaign videos. And exactly who has a problem understanding that, the ones using town hall for political purposes or the ones who complained about town hall being used that way?
By WinkieDinkLives (9), Southampton on Nov 5, 11 6:25 PM
1 member liked this comment
Its a sad day when Town Hall can be used for blatant political purposes and during business hours right in plain view of everyone.

I wonder if "unit production manager" jennifer garvey was unit producing on that day or working for the people and tax payers of the Town when Town Hall was being used by that film crew all day...

Just absolutely disgusting.
By ridiculous (214), hampton bays on Nov 6, 11 8:03 PM
1 member liked this comment
SHT Gov has an Ethics Board? Why?
By G (342), Southampton on Nov 7, 11 7:12 AM
3 members liked this comment
Let's work on real problems, not time-wasters like this non-issue!
By SagHarborBob (91), Sag Harbor on Nov 7, 11 8:58 AM
... using Town Hall for "blatant politcal purposes during business hours and right in plain view of everyone" sounds pretty damn good to me. I think it is much better than late at night, behind closed doors and out of sight.
By William Rodney (561), southampton on Nov 7, 11 9:35 AM
1 member liked this comment
The ethics board members were never going to find her or Bridget quilty of anything. Darlene Trogue was an employee of the town and a member of the ethics board. When she opposed Anna she was fired for some made up reason.
After what was learned here by Neil Tiger that Anna is a liar, dishonest and unethical no one should be voting for her.
It not about people is politics at its worst. Neil Tiger as endorsed Linda Kabot on a new radio ad. I have to give him credit for standing up and speaking ...more
By reg rep (408), Southampton on Nov 7, 11 10:37 AM
1 member liked this comment
Ahh, reg rep, still at it, huh? We were you wingnuts when Heaney and Kabot were passing out favors? Where were you when Malone and Nuzzi were passing out paid positions? How about a little consistency, or are you only motivated by your obsession with Throne-Holst?
By razza5351 (551), East Hampton on Nov 7, 11 12:30 PM
1 member liked this comment
Could you tell us what favors? I want dates and specfics please.
Do you mean the appointment of Russell Kraterville? I did blog that I was opposed to the way he was appointed back when it happened. That appointment was out in the open good or bad. From what I see he is very qualified and is doing a wonderful job.
On the other hand Anna knew about the poor work ethic the town attorney had that she appointed to the town board in 2010. She did it anyway for the demorcrat Nassau County Executive ...more
By reg rep (408), Southampton on Nov 7, 11 2:25 PM
The appointment was out in the open?! You have got to be kidding! What a hypocrite! I do not support ATH for very different reasons than you, but razza is right - you are clearly blinded by what appears to be an irrational hatred. At least aim for consistence even if it cannot be achieved.
By fcmcmann (417), Hampton Bays on Nov 7, 11 3:51 PM
Winkie would like to know what your reasons are. Do you mind sharing them?
By WinkieDinkLives (9), Southampton on Nov 7, 11 4:17 PM
2 members liked this comment
Razz, you should know better by now than to try and dialogue with Reg Rep. She's not rational on the subject of ATH, and everyone knows it. She's not real good at judging people's performance, either. She says about Russell Kratoville, "From what I see he is very qualified and is doing a wonderful job."

Maybe old Reg Rep doesn't know about Russ's latest screwup, where he reported a saving as $3 million and everyone got all excited, and then he comes back and says oops had an extra zero ...more
By clam pie (161), Westhampton on Nov 7, 11 10:25 PM
1 member liked this comment
Winkie wants to know, when did this happened, how come clammy pie knows about it, since no one else seems to, did it effect anything, like ya know, the Town Attorney mess up did? If ya know something no one else does ya need to tell us all about it, especially where you got the information so we can judge its relative truth in a season full of half truths and outright political fibary.
By WinkieDinkLives (9), Southampton on Nov 8, 11 12:46 PM
1 member liked this comment
Of course you support ATH who are you kidding. Your irrational hatred for Linda Kabot & anyone that is a republican is as transparent as the lies your candidate tells. Do you know ATH personally?
Tell me fcmcmann how do feel about the cuts Anna is making in the Youth Bureau?

clampie tell me about the town attorney that Anna had to appoint in 2010, how was his work ethic? Was he hired as a favor to some Nassau County elected official and a party leader fron NYS? Then ...more
By luvdogs08 (16), southampton on Nov 8, 11 12:57 AM