I am writing in response to the Batavia Daily News/Johnson News Service editorial (“Ag and Markets”) of Jan. 14, 2011, praising the appointment of Darrel Aubertine’s appointment by Gov. Cuomo.
Voters in the 48th State Senate District kicked out Darrel Aubertine in November’s election. His term as senator didn’t last long – from February 2008 to December 2010. Aubertine’s defeat comes mainly as a result of his advocacy with wind energy and his blatant conflicts of interest with wind developers. Now, like a bad penny, Gov. Cuomo has cursed New York State voters and hired Aubertine as commissioner of the state Department of Agriculture and Markets. So here’s Aubertine feeding again at the public trough after North Country voters just ousted him – bounced out of the Energy Valley of New York State by voters who understand the truth.
But Aubertine is still very much a conflicted state officer and should not have been appointed by Cuomo to this patronage position because of his conflicts of interest, integrity and ethics – well known by Mr. Cuomo from his AG days. His appointment is in direct violation of Public Officer’s Law §73 and §74 (See entire article at BewareNYWind, http://bewarenywind.blogspot.com to read the blatant violations of the law by Aubertine). Aubertine, by his own admission, has wind contracts (See http://www.wind-watch.org/news/2010/08/22/aubertine-paid-by-wind-developer/).
Cuomo has reneged his position, violated his own ethics policies, and forced an unwanted, conflicted turbine-hugger back on the public payroll. And what has Cuomo done to deal with the corrupt municipal officials in Cape Vincent (and across New York State, for that matter) since starting his investigation – nothing! (See http://www. watertowndailytimes.com/article/20110109/NEWS03/301099973.)
Aubertine, now a New York State officer who is being compensated by a wind developer that has leases with mainly agricultural lands in New York State. Aubertine is being investigated by the state’s AG. Aubertine’s New York State ag business would be directly involved and interface with rural land owners, farmers, etc., many of whom already have leases with wind energy companies or might soon sign leases. Wind leases are part of ag business – can anyone dispute that? Could anyone possibly think rural property owners wouldn’t want to discuss wind leases with Aubertine as he makes his rounds as ag commissioner? How would Aubertine respond? This is an unquestionable conflict of interest. How could Cuomo appoint Aubertine knowing Aubertine is conflicted and part of an ongoing investigation? Why would Cuomo taint his strong ethics/integrity stand by taking such controversial action thus making himself a certifiable hypocrite?
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Great Lakes Concerned Citizens
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