Tuesday, October 27, 2015

New Revelation in the D.A. Race

Today, a Halloween-inspired post card from Democrat Ken Golden's campaign arrived in the mail, warning voters about the skeletons in the closet of incumbent Columbia County district attorney Paul Czajka.

One of those skeletons was Czajka's failure to act on the findings of the NYS Inspector General in the matter of an employee at the Brookwood Secure Center who had improperly disposed of scrap material from the facility and then admitted to giving false testimony and obstructing justice.

Also today, the Golden campaign issued the following press release, which shares new information relating to that particular "skeleton."
District Attorney Czajka Accepts Campaign Contribution Instead of Prosecution?
Ken Golden, Democratic Candidate for Columbia County District Attorney, stated today that he believes District Attorney Paul Czajka has some explaining to do as Czajka’s campaign filings reveal that he accepted a campaign contribution on June 2, 2015, from Catherine A. Onufrychuk, the wife of John Onufrychuk. Mr. Onufrychuk is the former Brookwood employee who, in a New York State Inspector General’s Report (dated June 2014), was found to have provided false testimony when taking and selling state-owned scrap metal on at least 36 separate occasions and retaining the proceeds. The Inspector General’s Report found that they had cashed the checks payable to Onufrychuk and at least one check was “endorsed by both Onufrychuk and his wife and deposited in their joint checking account.”  
In the report, Mr. Onufrychuk, under oath, initially denied each sale to the Inspector General but when confronted with evidence of the sales, he “offered various excuses for his conduct” before admitting “I am a liar.”
The Inspector General’s report concluded by referring its findings to the Columbia County District Attorney’s Office in June 2014. Golden added, “To our knowledge, there has been no action taken by the District Attorney on this matter to date—either by way of investigation or prosecution.”
Golden continued, “I know this is campaign season, so every statement is criticized as being 'political,' but for the last year, District Attorney Czajka has owed all residents an explanation of why this matter continues to languish. Now he can also explain why he accepted a campaign contribution in connection with a matter referred to his office for review. It raises a number of disturbing ethical questions that deserve answers and Mr. Czajka should be held accountable.”
Mr. Onufrychuk is also the Republican candidate for Highway Superintendent in the Town of Greenport.
District Attorney Czajka is locked in a close race with Mr. Golden for the Office of District Attorney. The election is November 3.

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