JOHNSTOWN - A member of the public recently urged the Fulton County Board of Supervisors to "get to the bottom" of a 2010 economic development agency scandal and not increase the county's contribution to the agency.
Jack Kinzie of 6 Foster Road, town of Johnstown, relayed his feelings by raising his voice to the board several times at the County Office Building on Monday.
He noted the Fulton County Center for Regional Growth wants county government to triple its current $25,000 annual contribution to $75,000 for 2013. Supervisors won't be finalizing contributions to outside agencies in the 2013 county budget until later this year.
County Budget Director Alice Kuntzsch said the board's Economic Development and Environment Committee will review the CRG's $75,000 budget request Aug. 28.
"If you give to them, you are a disgrace," Kinzie told the board.
Fulton County used to contribute $75,000 per year to the Fulton County Economic Development Corp. A 2010 scandal involved bonus payments of $3 million to two economic development officials, which prompted the county to lower its contribution. But the CRG -the new parent corporation for the EDC and the Crossroads Incubator Corp. - feels the scandal has subsided and wants to be reinstated to its $75,000 contribution.
The EDC and CIC were hit by scandal in spring 2010 when it was made public former EDC Senior Vice President Jeff Bray and CIC Executive Vice President Peter A. Sciocchetti received $3 million in bonuses their boards of directors later said were not approved by them. Both men were fired by August 2010. The CRG is suing to get Bray and Sciocchetti to give back their bonuses.
Kinzie questioned how the CRG could request a tripling of its contribution.
"What in God's name are they talking about?" he asked. "The $3 million is still missing."
Kinzie noted how the Board of Supervisors requested a report from the CRG, back when it was only the EDC, with complete details on the scandal. He said no such report was received. He also noted supervisors asked the state Attorney General's Office to intervene Nov. 8, 2010 - something that wasn't done.
In March, the state Attorney General's Office issued a brief statement indicating the attorney general's probe was over, with no action being taken.
He said the issue won't be put to rest until "justice is served."
Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County news. He can be reached at email@example.com.