Niagara Gazette

Local News

October 10, 2013

State office questions lack of reporting for Joe Davis Park entity that Lewiston official says soon will be dissolved


Niagara Gazette — "As of Oct. 1, 2013, the Joseph Davis State Park Local Development Corporation remains out of compliance with the public disclosure, reporting and corporate governance provisions of the Public Authorities Law," Kidera wrote. "In addition, our records indicate that the board has failed to meet its statutory obligation to participate in mandatory training that focuses on the governance, accountability and ethical responsibilities of directors. Accordingly, pursuant to its powers under (state public authorities law), the ABO is sending this official letter of censure to the board of directors of the Joseph Davis State Park Local Development Corporation." 

Kidera went on to describe the board's failure to "take appropriate corrective action" when they were "previously warned" of the need to comply as "unacceptable." He went on to warn that continued failure to comply could result in the authorities budget office taking "additional steps," including initiating legal action to access records, books and financial documents of the LDC. 

"This behavior demonstrates the fundamental misunderstanding of your fiduciary responsibilities and is a serious violation of your duty as a director or officer of this authority," Kidera wrote. 

On Thursday, Giardino insisted there will be no need for the LDC to comply as it will soon be dissolved. Giardino said LDC representatives have repeatedly informed the authorities budget office that the entity has no assets and has had no financial activity. Therefore, Giardino argued, the LDC has no information to report in audits or other disclosure documents. 

"It has no financial activity," Giardino said. "It has no asses. It has nothing to report."

When asked about compensation provided to his own firm for its services related to the LDC, Giardino insisted his company worked for the town itself, not the development corporation. He said the same was true of an attorney hired to provide legal advice during the formation of the LDC. Although the board had planned to move forward with various improvements at Joe Davis, Giardino said the projects did not move forward and, ultimately, no funds were expended on them. 

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