UPDATE: Former Ulster County Treasurer Arrested

Finance


Former Ulster County Treasurer Bert Garnick was arrested by state police in the early hours of this Friday, June 16.

Garnick, who resigned on March 1 from his 12-year position, was linked to his work as Treasurer of the Harley Recreation Association and his actions on behalf of former county executive Mike Hein’s political campaign. accused of more than 50 crimes. .

After the arrest, County Executive Jen Metzger and Assembly Speaker Tracy Bartels released statements to reassure county residents.

“As promised when we first learned of his criminal allegations, we will do everything in our power to ensure that taxpayer funds are protected through a thorough, independent and transparent investigation,” Metzger said.

Bartels likewise expressed disappointment after assessing the list of crimes Mr Grunick was accused of committing.

In connection with his actions as Treasurer of Hurley Recreation Center, Garnik recovered more than $60,000 from the Recreation Center’s fund, misrepresented the balance of the fund to board members, and committed theft. was charged with entering false electronic information to conceal The breakdown was one count of second-degree grand theft, which is a Class C felony, and two counts of falsifying business records, both of which are Class E felonies.

In connection with Mike Hein’s actions as campaign treasurer, Grunick was charged with siphoning campaign funds into gift cards and improperly reporting the amounts as redemptions, and two counts of grand theft in the third degree. has been prosecuted for He was charged with a class D felony and an additional 49 counts of first degree falsification of business records.

If Mr. Garnik is convicted of some crimes, even with a minimal sentence, in the best-case scenario, if convicted, Mr. Garnik faces well over 10 years in prison. will be

County Comptroller March Gallagher launched an independent investigation after the investigation into alleged misrepresentation of Mr. Garnick’s rec center came to light with the county. Garnik resigned shortly thereafter.

A forensic audit of county finances was also requested to be performed by the Tom DiNapoli State Comptroller’s Office (OSC).

“Today’s arrest of former Treasury Secretary Bert Gullnick once again highlights the importance of trusting public institutions,” County Comptroller March Gallagher said in a statement. “Our team has undertaken new audits and processes to ensure the financial health of Ulster County.”

It seems easy now to see that the Treasury Secretary’s performance was not all wrong.

April 19thth At a 2022 County Council Means Committee meeting, Garnick famously lashed out at unanswered questions about Rep. Joe Maloney’s county foreclosures, a series of questions that turned into accusations of compensation payments. rice field.

“There was a debate over why 701 Grant Avenue wasn’t seized,” Maloney said. “And when he went on a rampage, it was when I linked donations from a few individuals that it had to do with the property. Well, he was Treasury Secretary and Mike Hein’s campaign treasurer, as Dave Donaldson always called it, one-stop shopping.”

Maloney said he tied literally hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations to various companies, won contracts, and then began donating thousands of dollars individually.

“Bart was on both sides,” Maloney says. She said, “Basically, I won the bids and then, as the head of finance for the Hein camp, I received checks from the people who won the bids.

Maloney says no one wanted to listen to him.

An audit of the county’s finances by the State Comptroller is still ongoing, and elected officials are bracing for more potential exposure.

“This is why our elected officials have to have uncomfortable conversations,” Maloney says. “If they just want to get along and we care more about brands and county names than about voters and how our tax dollars are spent, more of this will happen.”

The Hurley Recreation Association, a swim and outdoor recreation park, is a non-profit organization funded by membership dues and guest fees and is not operated or funded by the Town of Hurley.

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