Thursday, February 16, 2012

Dan Lewza Statement 2/16

During Wednesday night's Town Board meeting, Milton Supervisor Dan Lewza made the following statement regarding the felony drug charge against town Highway Superintendent David Forbes and the resolution of the ongoing legal battle between Heritage Springs Sewer Works, the Boghosian Brothers and the town.

“As the supervisor, I’d like to take a moment before we begin to talk to residents about what were are trying to accomplish and how I feel is the best way to get there as quickly as we can. I have stated many times that I feel we can accomplish many great things in this town, but we can only do it together. As you will see by the agenda tonight, we have accomplished something many said could not be done, but with the help of the community we proved anything can be done. And to continue to build on that momentum, we have to assure outsiders and developers that the negativity that has surrounded the town for so long is something of the past. So the town needs to lead by example. With that in mind, I feel like I need to make clear by position concerning the events surrounding Dave Forbes. After consulting with the Town Attorney, Jim Craig, and the town’s insurance agent, I feel the best thing for the town at this moment is to let the courts have the time to do what they need to do without any interference from the town. Our insurance agent has assured me the town is in good standing to allow Dave Forbes to continue his position until the matter is cleared up legally. I have received many comments from outside officials that it looks as if the town is headed in the right direction and I feel we are. But I will not allow us to move backward. We need to continue to let outsiders know we are a united, proud community that is open for business."

Though asking Forbes to resign could be viewed a good public relations move for the town, Lewza said that the Town Board can't do anything that could potentially influence the criminal case against Forbes, which is still pending.

An important thing to keep in mind here is the only way Forbes, an elected official, can be removed from office is if he A.) quits or B.) is convicted of a felony.

Why's that so important?

The special prosecutor in the case didn't return a call seeking comment, but I'm curious to see what he elects to do as far as a plea deal goes.

If the charge gets dropped to a misdemeanor, Forbes could -- conceivably -- take the plea bargain and keep his job, especially if all he has to wind up doing is paying a fine.

Is that an option? Is he interested in doing that? I don't know. His lawyer didn't return a call seeking comment and Saratoga County District Attorney James A. Murphy III isn't prosecuting the case.

If the special prosecutor doesn't offer anything less than a felony as part of the plea, however, things get interesting.

We'll have to see how this progresses. I'll keep trying to get a hold of the special prosecutor and Forbes' attorney.

Until next time,


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