Niagara Gazette

Local News

February 25, 2013

Falls lawmakers say they are victims of erroneous robo-calls regarding board of elections

(Continued)

Niagara Gazette — Beyond that, both he and Zona maintain Smith will receive the same level of benefits upon her retirement whether she leaves now or in April.

Zona said he was further agitated by an assertion made by the caller that he was involved in the issue at all, noting that he was out of town during the meeting where Allen was appointed and did not cast a single vote on the measure, or any other. 

"The funny part is, I wasn't even there," Zona said, adding, "To me, it just shows that I'm doing something right if in February, they are already putting out calls to people's houses and telling them blatant lies."

Reached by telephone on Monday, Allen said she alone made the decision to appoint Smith as her deputy. She said Smith's services will be retained for a "few weeks" to help with the transition in the office. She also maintains that Smith's post-retirement benefits will not change as a result of her added time on the job.

Niagara County Human Resources Director Peter Lopes could not be reached for comment Monday. 

As for the call itself, Allen characterized it as a "complete untruth." 

"I don't know who did it, but it was not true and just mean," she said. 

Based on his research, Virtuoso believes the anonymous call may have come from a company located on Main Street in the city of Buffalo. He noted that the message did not disclose the identity of anyone who may have financed its creation and delivery. 

A spokesperson for the Federal Communications Commission said Monday Title 47 of the Code of Federal Regulations require identification of the business, individual or entity responsible for initiating the call. Under the rules, the caller either during or after the message must provide a telephone number for the business, individual or entity that made the call. 

The FCC is responsible for investigating complaints involving automated messages. If the agency determines that a violation has occurred, it can issue letters to callers encouraging them to adhere to the rules. Persistent violators can face fines. 

mug - Virtuoso, Dennis Dennis Virtuoso Calling out tactics

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