|Taken in 2009, this photo shows the business location on Park Ave. (near Goodman St.) of the International World HQ of Navitech, the company that received a $224 million dollar contract from the Brooks administration. photo: Bess Watts|
Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks orchestrated a $224 million taxpayer handover to her husbands’ friend and former business partner who only created Navitech a few months before they knew they were going to bid out a public safety and security systems contract. Why the people of this great County don’t give a crap about this corrupt and evil wrong-doing is beyond verbal description.
Monroe County, N.Y. -- Investigators with the state Attorney General’s Office on May 28 seized records from Rochester-based Navitech Services Corp. and other operations that are the focus of an investigation into alleged favoritism with contracting. Records related to Monroe Security and Safety Systems Local Development Corp., also known as M3S, were seized as part of the investigation, according to sources. It was also learned late today that the Federal Bureau of Investigation is also assisting the Attorney General on this case.
Monroe County created M3S, a local development corporation (LDC) that then handled the contract with Navitech for upgrading the county’s public safety and security systems. Stephen Gleason, Navitech’s chief operating officer, confirmed Thursday that the Navitech office on Park Avenue in Rochester had been searched by Attorney General’s Office investigators.
Local development corporations, or LDCs, are private, nonprofit entities that can issue debt and borrow money but operate out of the purview of the public eye.
“We continue to fully cooperate with the Attorney General and their investigation,” said Gleason, who declined to comment further when it was requested by the Democrat & Chronicle. “The investigation is ongoing,” said a statement provided by Sonia Lindell, a spokeswoman with the Office of Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. “At this point we are not commenting on specific investigative steps that we are taking.”
Navitech and M3S have already been audited by Comptroller DiNapoli whose office determined that Navitech received favorable treatment when it landed the $224 million public safety contract from M3S.
In the usual tone-deaf measured height of arrogance, Monroe County officials have once again continued to deny there is anything unethical in the handling of the Navitech contract and the creation of M3S. Central to the allegations of favorable treatment is a claim that Navitech received information about the county’s requirement for the contract three months before there was an official solicitation of proposals in February 2009.
That information, including knowledge that the contract would be let through a local development corporation, allowed Navitech to craft a successful response, a Comptroller’s audit alleged. Gleason is the former chief financial officer for Monroe County. He has publicly stated that he first became aware of Navitech’s existence in June 2009-- months after the proposal solicitation-- when he first went to work for the company as a consultant.
Both the NYS Attorney General Schneiderman and Comptroller DiNapoli have said that the creations of LDC’s are ripe for abuses. It’s why they create them in the first place-- to circumvent any existing labor laws and to avoid any oversight by taxpayers or the County Legislature.
The way we see it, the damage to our community has already been done and we will suffer the consequences for decades to come. Sooner or later, the good people of Monroe County will wake up and see the Brooks administration for who they truly are-- criminal and political ideologues that only have the benefit of the few at heart at the expense and interest of the common good. It bears repeating-- history will not be kind to Maggie Brooks when it’s all said and done.