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  • Chemung County Executive Race: Chris Moss (R) 55% Jerome Emanuel (Dem) 29% Krusen (I) 16%
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ElmiraTelegram

Civil Suit Brought Against Krusen, Moss Demands Apology For "Baseless Accusations"

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ElmiraTelegram    109

A civil lawsuit has been brought against one candidate for Chemung County Executive, prompting another candidate to demand an apology.

In a story first reported on yesterday by WETM TV News, former First Arena owner Tom Freeman files suit against Chemung County Deputy Executive and candidate for Chemung County Executive Michael Krusen. Freeman alleges that Krusen caused him financial hardship during Freeman's time as owner of First Arena. Among the complaints are that Krusen allegedly blocked Freeman's business, Main Street Bar, from serving food at First Arena and then along with Victory Associates ran the concessions, and received 100% of the commissions. Freeman also alleges that Krusen illegally changed authorized signatures on the bar's bank accounts, preventing the owners from being able to access money in the accounts. 

Freeman is suing Krusen for a half million dollars in damages

Krusen denies the allegations, and released the following statement:

"The lawsuit filed by Tom Freeman is a poorly disguised political hit job. Freeman has repeatedly peddled his baseless claims to avoid a financial obligation he knowingly accepted. My opponent has latched on to the same allegations to harm my name for his political advantage. Freeman and Sheriff Moss’s allegations have been reviewed by multiple agencies and no one has taken them seriously, because they are completely frivolous. Now with three weeks until the election---the allegations emerge again in this civil suit. Like everyone else who has seen these claims, I am confident the court will reject them and the voters of Chemung County should reject this brand of politics."

This morning, Republican candidate for Chemung County Executive Sheriff Chris Moss released a statement, demanding an apology from Krusen for bringing his name into the situation:

"On October 16, 2018, Chemung County Deputy Executive Michael Krusen released a statement making unsubstantiated allegations against the Sheriff’s Office, as well as the Sheriff, pertaining to a civil lawsuit filed against him involving the First Arena. I’d like to make it abundantly clear that neither I, the Sheriff’sOffice nor my campaign committee is in any way involved in or had prior knowledge of any civil lawsuit involving the First Arena or Michael Krusen.

I am requesting an immediate apology from the Deputy Executive’s Office pertaining to these baseless accusations and would ask that Mr. Krusen stick to relative campaign issues rather than attempting to divert attention to a matter between he and the former owner of the First Arena, Mr. Freeman."

The Krusen campaign appeared to double down, issuing another public statement about the lawsuit this morning on social media, stating in part:

"Evidently the Moss campaign refusal to debate the real issues of importance, which is essential for voters to understand the candidates' position on issues, is being replaced by a divisive, acrimonious, and vicious attempt to discredit my record, which spans 30 years of public service with 17 years of Deputy County Executive managing a $240 million dollar county budget.

Its obvious to me that the political and vindictive attack by the Moss campaign is exactly the reason why I decided on an Independence, non partisan campaign to find common ground to bring people together to take advantage of our opportunities and solve the pressing problems facing our community"

 

 

 

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Johnny Go    30

Ask and you shall receive.

This tells me a lot about Krusen.  Classic deflection strategy, make the problem about someone else instead of addressing the issue.

The Arena from day one has always been about lining pockets of politicians and their cronies, the type of stuff that never rises to the level of outright crime.  And enough people have dirt on their hands that there will never be an "agency" investigation to conclude this is happening.

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By Diesel    0

First political office Moss has run for and the second time he's been involved in a controversy. Krusen has worked hard for our area, Moss should stick to what he knows

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Johnny Go    30

Interesting, please tell me more about the first controversy you are referring to.  I want to be able to make an informed decision come election day.

How is Moss involved in this "controversy", other than Krusen dragging him into it to try and score a political hit?

BTW, it is not Moss' first run for political office.  How many political offices has Krusen run for in the past?

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ElmiraTelegram    109

Friendly Warning: I've found a few recent account names and at least one email bouncing back to the same device's IP address. Let's keep it honest folks. 

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KRSullivan    94

This whole campaign for county executive reminds me if 2 kids arguing over anything.  I am waiting for one them to say "did not" next time they are accused of something.  These 2 gentlemen need to grow up. Every day they make Jerome look better and better.

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Chris    570

I think Moss has a point on this one. Seems like every time someone has criticized the county government or the sale tax distribution, it's called a "political hit job" against Krusen. Frankly it's gotten pretty old.

Is Moss' name listed anywhere on the suit as a plantiff? If not, then there was no reason to drag him into it. 

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Hal    154

Yes ... it has gotten old ! Always someone else’s fault , methinks a bit of a paranoia bug has bitten Mr Krusen ... 

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Ann    143

What would impress me would be to have a candidate state one of the first things he would do is reduce the County Exec’s salary to a more reasonable salary.  I read somewhere the salary right now is more than 41 state governors.  If true it’s wrong.

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Chris    570
On 10/18/2018 at 10:03 AM, Ann said:

What would impress me would be to have a candidate state one of the first things he would do is reduce the County Exec’s salary to a more reasonable salary.  I read somewhere the salary right now is more than 41 state governors.  If true it’s wrong.

Both Emanuel and Moss I believe have said they would reduce the Executive and Deputy Executive's salary if elected. 

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Chris    570

It just keeps rolling on, and this juggernaut of back and forth show no signs of slowing down. From Krusen's campaign Facebook page:

Quote

Sheriff Moss continues to blur the lines between has public responsibilities and his political ambitions.   At no time did I suggest that the Chemung County Sheriff’s Office was a party to the current matter but rather Sheriff Moss and his political allies were participating in a last minute political hit.  Sheriff Moss continues to inappropriately use his official title on campaign materials for an office that holds no direct connection to the office he seeks.   Mr. Freeman was the complainant in the “Sheriff’s” criminal investigation into the First Arena and one can certainly see how that failed attempt has led to this latest round of the continuing efforts by Sheriff Moss to attack me.   It should also not be lost on the voters in this County that Republican Chairman Rodney Strange, another Moss ally who has publically stated he will do anything to get Moss elected, delivered the lawsuit to the local media with the simple but telling conclusion, “I was never here.”  Perhaps Sheriff Moss owes an apology to this community for the way he is conducting his campaign.

 

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Chris    570
Quote

It should also not be lost on the voters in this County that Republican Chairman Rodney Strange, another Moss ally who has publically stated he will do anything to get Moss elected, delivered the lawsuit to the local media with the simple but telling conclusion, “I was never here.” 

So is he insinuating that Rodney took a copy of this lawsuit to WETM personally, but told them to keep it quiet? Am I reading that right? Because if I am, that's making some pretty bold statements unless he has rock solid proof. 

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Johnny Go    30

According to seethroughNY Krusen makes ~$150,000 in his current position. He made $140,886 in 2015 the only year listed, his yearly increases before then were about $4,000).

That is pretty close to Santulli's pay, $140,000 in 2014.  (there are no recent data on that site for either Moss or Krusen).

Moss's pay in 2018 is $111,354.

Krusen has always been the heir apparent, probably expects us to keep supporting him in the lifestyle he has become accustomed to.  That is a powerful motivation to do whatever he can to win.

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KRSullivan    94

That's 140,000 at his current position plus the 6 figure pension from when he retired from that position the first time he held it. Plus his salary for being director of the IDA.I heard a couple weeks ago the prior director was forced out so Krusen could have that spot. I understand the double dipping with pension and salary is legal, but that doesn't make it right.

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Johnny Go    30

Thanks KR, refer to my first post on this concerning the Arena. You're right, retired in 2015, $82,000/year pension for the same frigging job.  This guy is knocking down a quarter million a year of our money,   Plus whatever he gets on the IDA and STEG gigs.  This double/triple/quadruple dipping should be illegal, but can't blame a guy for taking advantage of the system, I guess.

Politicians who care about nothing but themselves first, then think we should be grateful when sometimes their work happens to benefit us.  Wow.

Edited by Johnny Go

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Ann    143

When I was working one of my co-workers was retired and collecting a pension from the New York State pension system.  He was limited as to much his salary could be because of also collecting his pension.  How does Krusen do it?

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Ann    143
14 hours ago, Chris said:

So is he insinuating that Rodney took a copy of this lawsuit to WETM personally, but told them to keep it quiet? Am I reading that right? Because if I am, that's making some pretty bold statements unless he has rock solid proof. 

So who at WETM said Mr Strange did this?  What happened to reporters protecting their sources?  Oh, wait, TelePrompter readers aren’t reporters.

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Johnny Go    30
2 hours ago, Ann said:

When I was working one of my co-workers was retired and collecting a pension from the New York State pension system.  He was limited as to much his salary could be because of also collecting his pension.  How does Krusen do it?

To be fair,i don't know how much salary he is getting.  I guess when you are contacting after retirement that isn't on the seethroughny page.

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Chris    570
2 hours ago, Ann said:

So who at WETM said Mr Strange did this?

I named WETM because they were the ones reporting that they were the ones breaking it. To the best of my knowledge no news organization has said anything about where the information came from. 

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KReed    240
1 hour ago, Ann said:

When I was working one of my co-workers was retired and collecting a pension from the New York State pension system.  He was limited as to much his salary could be because of also collecting his pension.  How does Krusen do it?

I believe it may have been social security, rather that NYS pension that imposed that limit.

Retirees drawing Social Security are limited in how much they can earn and still receive full benefits (until a certain age), but in the NYS Pension system, the pension is calculated on a formula of years of service and salary and does not change due to the recipient’s financial status.

 

The premise (I assume) is that an unrelated or private sector job is not double dipping…..just like retired military can become gym teachers, school bus drivers or Walmart greeters and it shouldn’t affect their pension. Even becoming a Postal carrier and vesting in a second retirement isn’t double-dipping, as they’re being paid to do a job the USPS will pay someone to do regardless and contributing the same to their new pension.  

However, some state agencies do often hire “contract” workers that aren’t in the pension system. They are non-state employees paid by a third party employment service to supplement the workforce and (ostensibly) save the state money.

 

For instance, Elmira Psyche Center might have 40 full time nurses with full benefits, paid leave, pension etc and half a dozen “at will” per diem nurses that cover at lesser compensation under a private staffing firm, even if it’s essentially full time. Not unlike a substitute teacher off the street getting called in every day of the school year (who may very well be retired from a previous career).

 

A few years ago, NYS hiring policy put limits on how much a state “consultant” who was contracted by the state but receiving a pension for a position with the same job duties could be paid….so they can no longer have a nurse retiring at 55, drawing a full state pension and still doing the same job per diem on top of that (and claim they are “saving money” by filling her job duties with a contract employee).

 

Evidently, Chemung County still allows that type of scenario.

 

It’s probably a little late to ask if the candidate questionnaires address if they’d like to change that policy, huh?

 

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Ann    143
6 hours ago, Chris said:

I named WETM because they were the ones reporting that they were the ones breaking it. To the best of my knowledge no news organization has said anything about where the information came from. 

No, I was watching 18 news when they said they were the first to break the story.

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Hal    154
3 hours ago, Ann said:

No, I was watching 18 news when they said they were the first to break the story.

Yes , they were more than adamant about being the “ first “ to break the story ! Pretty serious allegation to make against Rodney ! What I find distasteful of WETM was their ill timed Straw Poll , not so much the results ,  but the timing itself . 

Vote Moss ... give the “ good ole boy “ network the Toss ! 

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charliejr    1
On 10/20/2018 at 7:14 AM, Ann said:

When I was working one of my co-workers was retired and collecting a pension from the New York State pension system.  He was limited as to much his salary could be because of also collecting his pension.  How does Krusen do it?

Krusen's Deputy County Executive salary is $29,999  so that he stays under the $30,000 yearly limit that he can make working in the same position he retired from, if he was to go over the the $30,000 he would have to forfeit a portion of the retirement money. If Krusen by chance gets elected to County Executive he can collect his NYS retirement pension as well as the County Executives salary  which is somewhere around $140,000 plus a vehicle. 

Returning to Public Employment in New York State

The general rule is if you are under age 65, you can return to public employment without approval or reduction in your retirement benefit as long as your calendar year earnings are less than the Section 212 limit (the limit has been set at $30,000 since January 1, 2007).

If your earnings will be more than the Section 212 limit, the RSSL permits your employer to seek approval to hire you under Section 211. However, there are specific procedures that must be followed and strict standards that must be met.

  

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