Utica Council meets regarding secret city investigation; want to know what's going on
UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - Utica city officials say "enough is enough" - they want to be filled in on a mysterious investigation being launched by Utica's mayor and the city's Corporation Counsel.
It was twelve days ago that the board of Estimate and Apportionment, a governing board that oversees city spending, passed legislation allowing for the hire of local attorney J.K. Hage for the investigation.
The move upset many people, including the Utica Common Council, who were kept in the dark as to what the investigation pertained to and why Hage was being hired. Common Council President Bill Morehouse called Monday's special meeting of the council to discuss the matter, and invited Mayor David Roefaro to attend.
The plan was to have the council and the mayor speak behind closed doors in an executive session, hoping the whole council would be filled in on the investigation, Morehouse said.
However, City Spokesman Angelo Roefaro said the Mayor was advised by J.K. Hage not to give out details of the investigation to even the council.
The mayor is just one of four people who know about the investigation, Angelo Roefaro said.
According to Angelo Roefaro, he, the mayor, the city's corporation council Linda Fatata, and J.K. Hage are the only four people who know the details surrounding the investigation.
Many common councilors are upset that they were not informed, with many saying they have numerous questions for the mayor. However, since he will not be at Monday's meeting, those questions most likely won't get asked.
"I have been getting a lot of questions from residents in the city of Utica," said first-time Councilor-at-Large Jerry Kraus. "They all want to know what is going on. So, at this point we don't know. I don't know. I have spoken to the Mayor. I have spoken to other people. I don't know".
Morehouse said the council will still meet in executive session Monday night. He says a potential resolution could be drawn up stating the council's displeasure with the fact that the Mayor is keeping things under lock and key. However, Morehouse said he didn't see that changing the situation, or the Mayor's silence.
The common council's attorney has advised the council that the mayor has the right to keep this matter a secret, Morehouse said.