Another County Executive Fiasco

By: Dave Duncan

It is time for Ms. Debbie Preston to give up her run for re-election to her post as Broome County Executive and focus on staying away from being assigned a room in the place that many ex-inmates refer to as the Grey Bar Hotel.

Credit Card Use Violates All Rules for Public Employees.

The greatest welfare recipient basher in the history of elected officials in the county charged almost $24,000 in personal bills to a credit card issued in 2011 to the Town of Conklin, where Ms. Debbie was the Town Supervisor.  This use of the Town credit card, which she had authorized in her name, was applied for and used without the Town approval. “The account is not a known account of the Town’s and is not on our books,” Lisa Houston, Secretary to the Supervisor, Town of Conklin, explained. The other credit cards issued to the Town’s name had spending limits of $2,500 but Ms. Debbie’s Town of Conklin card had a $25,000 limit.  She was even charging personal bills to this Conklin public card months after she had left her job in Conklin to become Broome County Executive in 2013.

Ms. Preston and the Poor                                                                                                                     Ms. Preston has paid back the money and says it was a “mistake.” This is the same Preston who has made catching welfare cheats a cornerstone of her county administration. She requested and received publicity from the Press & Sun-Bulletin the day she blew out of her Executive Office and drove to the County Department of Social Services because someone had reported an old Mercedes car parked there.  As it turns out, the owner of the old vehicle was neither a recipient of, nor an applicant for welfare.  Woe be to any applicant who makes a mistake on the very long complicated form for assistance and gets a few hundred dollars more in food stamps than they are entitled to receive. If you cheat the welfare department out of a couple of thousand you can do time and also have to pay the money back.  Ms. Debbie is tough on those who don’t follow the rules and the DA will prosecute.                                                                                                                                       County Executive and Her Jewelry Cart                                                                                             Past indiscretions by County Executive Preston include the selling of her home-made jewelry on county time to county employees.  Also top aides to Preston used county time and emails to tell workers in appointed positions to volunteer time to assist in the election of Republican candidates. On these issues Preston skated home free.                                                                                                                                                              Sales Tax                                                                                                                                                     Sales tax on the personal items that Preston purchased is not added to the credit card bills that are issued to public entities. When was it charged? When was it paid?                                                                                                                                                                Ms. Debbie—Not Like the Rest of Us                                                                                                Most people whose annual salaries are in the $80,000–$90,000+ range get their own personal credit card. If they have difficulty with this, they go to the bank for a loan.  Not Preston.                   Blackmail                                                                                                                                                      Preston claims that she has been threatened with political blackmail by person(s) who knew of her credit card maneuvers. These threats must be reported to authorities. The residents of this county cannot have their elected officials blackmailed.                                                                                                                                              There Needs to be an Investigation                                                                                                  The Schuyler County District Attorney has been assigned to examine the personal use of the public credit card by Preston.  Let us hope that she gets the same consideration she gives to the poor.   Think of all the little people who have served time for financial indiscretions. Public officials must be held to a higher standard.

This article is not an endorsement of any other candidate running for the office of County Executive.






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