Niagara Gazette

Local News

December 3, 2012

Water Board residency debate floats along

Niagara Gazette — Niagara Falls Water Board Chairman Ted Janese III said Monday an attorney representing the water board has found no merit in claims suggesting he has violated the terms of the board's residency policy. 

Fellow water board member Renae Kimble, who initiated the effort to have Janese's residency examined, said any such ruling would be "news to her" as she's still gathering information as part of what she believes is still an ongoing investigation by water board attorney John Ottaviano. 

"I have not submitted all of my proof yet," Kimble said Monday. "(Ottaviano) just has one side of the story." 

In a statement issued Monday, Janese, citing what he said was an opinion rendered by Ottaviano, said he continues to meet all residency requirements of the board and that he exhibited no "conflict of interest in supporting the recent hiring" of the board's new director of administrative service Roger Lance. 

"The concluding facts are that I meet the residency requirements for board members and there was no conflict of interest in supporting a highly qualified candidate for the Director of Administrative Services position," Janese said. 

Ottaviano could not be reached for comment Monday. 

Ottaviano was asked last month to investigate Janese's residency by Kimble who suggested the board chairman had moved out of a home in the Falls and into a new house in Lewiston, thus violating the terms of his appointment. Kimble had argued that, as a result of the residency violation, Janese should be removed as chair, allowing her, as vice chair, to assume the board's top position. She also called for the invalidation of all water board decisions made since Janese's alleged move to Lewiston, including the hiring last month of Lance, the husband of Wheatfield Republican county lawmaker Kathryn Lance. 

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