Tag Archives: George Williams

Judge McCarthy to rule on county clerk case tomorrow

by Carol Thompson

Oswego County Supreme County Judge James McCarthy will render a decision in an Article 78 proceeding held to determine if the Oswego County clerk position will be on the ballot in the Nov. 6 election. Attorneys for all side argued the case this afternoon at the county courthouse in Oswego.

Former legislator James McMahon had filed the Article 78, alleging that the successor to the late county clerk George Williams should be appointed by the governor though 2013.

The defendants include the Democrat, Republican, Working Families and Independence parties, candidates Michael Backus and Phil Vasho as well as county election commissioners Donald Wart and Richard Atkins.

Attorneys for the plaintiff argued that New York State County Law section 400 should apply in filling a vacancy. The law states that a vacancy occurring three months prior to an election should be a governor’s appointment.

Attorneys for the defendants argued that state Election Law, which contradicts county law, should prevail and an election should be held.

McCarthy  quizzed the lawyer for the plaintiff extensively. At issue was the placement of a comma in the county law.  McCarthy also noted that if the governor wanted to appoint someone to the position, he would have done so by now.

In attendance at the hearing were Assemblyman Will Barclay, clerk candidate Michael Backus, his father Mark Backus, and Oswego County Conservative Party Chairman Ron Greenleaf.

McCarthy said he will have his decision available at 10 a.m. tomorrow morning.

County Clerk election legality challenged

by Carol Thompson

The legality of having the office of Oswego County Clerk on the ballot in the November election is being challenged in Oswego County Supreme Court.
Lawyers for Bond, Schoeneck and King, PLLC, filed a petition Friday afternoon on behalf of James McMahon, asking the court to restrain from printing and placing the candidates’ names on the officials ballots and voting machines to be used in the Nov. 6 election.

Named as defendants in the Article 78 action are the Oswego County Board of Elections; Michael Backus, both personally and as chairman of the Oswego County Republican Committee; Phillip Vasho; the Oswego County Conservative Party and chairman Ronald Greenleaf; the Oswego County Democrat Committee and chairman Mike Kunzwiler.

The Board of Elections added the position to the ballot for the Nov. 3 election, following the Sept. 3 death of George Williams.

The three political parties selected candidates at their respective committee meetings and filed a certificate of nomination for each candidate.

The Democrat Committee selected Vasho and Backus was selected as the candidate for both the Republican and Conservative committees.

To read the rest of the story, pick up a copy  of Wednesday’s edition of The Valley News

County clerk candidates to be selected Tuesday

by Carol Thompson

Both major political parties will select a candidate to run for the office of County Clerk in November.

A vacancy has occurred due to the Sept. 3 death of George Williams, who had served in the position for three decades.

The Oswego County Republican Committee members will chose between Legislature Chairman Fred Beardsley and GOP Chairman Michael C. Backus.

The Oswego County Democrat Committee has not announced their candidates although Oswego Town Clerk Theresa Cooper has expressed an interest.

As of press time, both committees have a meeting scheduled for Tuesday evening.

To read the rest of the story, pick up the latest copy of The Valley News. You may also subscribe to the paper by calling 598-6397

County Clerk George Williams dies at age 77

by Carol Thompson

Oswego County Clerk George Williams died yesterday. Williams, 77, had been reportedly ill for some time and been hospitalized in recent weeks, according to county employees.

Williams also served as a past chairman of the Oswego County Republican Committee.

Oswego County Republican Committee Chairman Michael Backus said the news of Williams’ death will be met with heartfelt sympathy by those who knew him.

“I am saddened to learn of the passing of Oswego County Clerk George Williams,” Backus said. “George made an indelible mark on our community and served this county for over 30 years.”

Backus added, “My heartfelt thoughts and prayers go out to Norma (Williams’ wife) and the family.”

Minority Leader Mike Kunzwiler said he too was sad to hear of Williams passing.  “He served the public for many years,” he said.

County employees were notified of his death this morning.

The governor will name a replacement for Williams. In the meantime, Deputy Clerk Georgiana Mansfield will oversee the office.

Probe into Essex County results in no ‘provable criminal conduct’

by Carol Thompson

The Franklin County District Attorney has concluded that there is no “provable criminal conduct committed by any employee or county official of Essex County,” however, does go on to state that the report has been forwarded to the Essex County Ethics Board and the state Attorney General for review.

An investigation into the bidding procedure in Essex County in regard to a data imaging contract was the subject of Franklin County DA Derek Champagne’s investigation.

The investigation focused on e-mail correspondence between Essex County Deputy Clerk Janet Cross and Joe Murman of Info Quick Solutions, Inc. (IQS) of Liverpool.

The company does business with the Oswego County Clerk’s office and has been embroiled in controversy for over a year.

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Lawsuit against Oswego County clerk hits snag

by Carol Thompson

There was a hearing held Wednesday in the matter of a case against Oswego County Clerk George Williams but the plaintiff’s attorney said he had no idea a hearing had been scheduled.

Attorney Scott Chatfield, who represents APS Information Systems in a case against Williams, said late Wednesday that he had no idea a hearing had been scheduled until he received a telephone call from Oswego County Supreme Court Judge Norman Seiter asking why he wasn’t in court.

APS is suing Williams for his policy of charging fees to research criminal court records. State law allows a $5 fee to be charged for each name searched for every two years provided the search is certified. APS alleges that Williams has been charging for all searches, including those that are not certified.

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