Niagara Gazette

Local News

March 19, 2014

Pension-padding probe moves forward in county legislature

Niagara Gazette — LOCKPORT — A resolution accusing Minority Leader Dennis Virtuoso, D-Niagara Falls, of trying to pad his pension has been sent to the Niagara County Legislature's Administration Committee. The committee meets April 7.

In the resolution, Legislator Randy R. Bradt, R-North Tonawanda, alleges that Virtuoso and Niagara Falls Mayor Paul A. Dyster have worked together to maximize Virtuoso’s overtime in his role as acting director of code enforcement and chief code enforcement officer for the City of Niagara Falls.

The resolution seeks an investigation from the state attorney general and comptroller and urges the city to start a search for a full-time code enforcement director.

Virtuoso said the resolution was factually incorrect and "highly inappropriate." By serving in both positions, Virtuoso said he was saving the city about $100,000 a year.

"I'm being criticized for doing two jobs," he said.

Virtuoso questioned why Bradt would submit a resolution like that when he was facing his own issues with the state over unpaid taxes. Bradt owed the state $7,781.14 in unpaid sales taxes, interest and penalties concerning a Kenmore restaurant he formerly owned. But Bradt said he is currently in a payment plan with the state to repay the money.

"All I'm asking is that it'd be looked at," Bradt said of his resolution.

At the start of Tuesday's meeting, Bradt's resolution drew some harsh comments from public forum speakers. Edwina Luksch, a Newfane resident, said the measure wouldn't do anything to reduce pensions costs for Niagara Falls or Niagara County.

"I believe this resolution is vindictive, political maneuvering and is being used to cause retribution and personal embarrassment to Legislator Virtuoso," she said.



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