Three plead guilty in Orange County IDA corruption case, and other news

What's new in the Upper Delaware region June 24 to 30

Posted 6/23/21

What's new in the Upper Delaware region June 24 to 30

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Three plead guilty in Orange County IDA corruption case, and other news

What's new in the Upper Delaware region June 24 to 30

Posted

Sullivan County Drug Task Force releases services dashboard

LIBERTY, NY — On June 15, the Sullivan County Drug Task Force released its Intervention and Prevention Services Dashboard

“Through real-time connections to the state and service providers, we can show—in one glance—what’s available locally for people seeking treatment for substance use disorder, public transportation options, medical care, peer/community support, even food and shelter,” said Sullivan County District Attorney Meagan Galligan.

“This interactive resource guide is a godsend to our community,” said District 2 Legislator Nadia Rajsz, chair of the legislature’s Health and  Family Services committee. “It can show you all the local options for the help you seek and how to get there.”

For help with substance use concerns, call 866/832-5575 or text #HOPENY.

Pennsylvania Environmental Quality Board to establish new contaminant level restrictions

HARRISBURG, PA — At a June 15 meeting, the Pennsylvania Environmental Quality Board (EQB) considered a rulemaking petition submitted by the Delaware Riverkeeper Network (DRN) to establish a safe drinking water standard for perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOC). The EQB voted to approve moving ahead with a rulemaking to establish a maximum contaminant level for PFOA in Pennsylvania drinking water. 

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection stated that this is the first time they have ever acted under the state’s Safe Drinking Water Act to establish a regulation to require the removal of a contaminant from public drinking water.

Cuomo announces COVID-19 restrictions lifted  

ALBANY, NY — Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced on June 15 that COVID-19 restrictions are lifted immediately, as 70 percent of New Yorkers aged 18 or older have received the first dose of their COVID-19 vaccination series. 

Unvaccinated individuals continue to be responsible for wearing masks, in accordance with federal CDC guidance. Further, the state’s health guidelines continue to be in effect for large-scale indoor event venues, pre-K to grade 12 schools, public transit, homeless shelters, correctional facilities, nursing homes and health care settings per CDC guidelines. Businesses are free to choose to lift all or some restrictions, continue to adhere to the state’s archived guidance, or implement other health precautions for their employees and patrons.

“What New York has done is extraordinary. Not only do we have the lowest COVID-19 positivity rate in the United States of America, we have hit 70 percent vaccination ahead of schedule. We successfully deployed the weapon that will win the war, and New York led the nation,” Cuomo said. 

Help for PA veterans

HAWLEY, PA — Sen. Lisa Baker (R-20) invites veterans to schedule an appointment to meet with a Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Service Officer at her Hawley office location. Appointments with a service officer are available at no charge on the first Thursday of every month.  

On Thursday, July 1, the VFW Service Officer will be available for scheduled appointments at Baker’s office, 2512 Rte. 6. All veterans, not just VFW members, can request appointments between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. VFW Service Officer assistance may include VA healthcare, compensation, pension, education and dependent benefits. Surviving spouses can also use these service officers at no charge to learn about their eligibility for VA benefits.

“Thanks to the sacrifices of our veterans and their families, we are able to enjoy everyday freedoms that continue to make our country a unique beacon of hope across the world,” Baker said. “During challenging economic times, many veterans continue to need our assistance.  This is true now more than ever.”

To schedule an appointment at this location, call 570/226-5960.

Three plead guilty in Orange County IDA corruption case

ORANGE COUNTY, NY — On Monday, June 21, three individuals pled guilty to charges related to an investigation into corruption at the Orange County Industrial Development Agency (IDA). 

Vincent Cozzolino, 62, former managing director of the Orange County IDA, pled guilty to corrupting the government in the third degree. Laurie Villasuso, 41, former IDA CEO, pled guilty to corrupting the government in the fourth degree. Edward Diana, 72, a former IDA board member and former Orange County executive, pled guilty to offering a false instrument in the third degree and committing prohibited conflicts of interest. 

At a press conference, Orange County District Attorney David Hoovler presented the case against the three. He said that, while no direct embezzlement or theft of funds occured, each of the three engaged in prohibited conflicts of interest, enriching companies they were involved in through double billing and vague contracts while hiding their interests in said companies. 

Sen. Mike Martucci released a statement praising the investigation, and applauding Hoovler and county executive Steve Neuhaus for their swift action. “Whether it’s in the halls of the governor’s mansion or the board rooms of a local IDA,” he said, “citizens deserve honest and accountable government. Those who violate that trust must be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”

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