Garnar: Campaign Not Linked to Preston Information
Broome County Executive candidate Jason Garnar said his campaign had nothing to do with publicizing incumbent Debra Preston's misuse of a credit card.
Broome County executive candidate Jason Garnar in the "Binghamton Now" studio on October 12, 2016. [Bob Joseph/WNBF News][/caption]
Garnar, a Democrat, commented after the Republican Preston characterized the move by someone to provide old Town of Conklin records to the news media as an "October surprise."
Broome County Executive Debra Preston answering questions from reporters on October 11, 2016. [Bob Joseph/WNBF News][/caption]
Speaking on WNBF Radio's Binghamton Now program Wednesday, Garnar said he did not know who was responsible for releasing the information.
Garnar said he viewed the matter as a "black-and-white issue: You can't take a town credit card and make personal purchases on it. End of story."
During an emotional meeting with reporters Tuesday afternoon, Preston said she had paid for all of the personal purchases she made on the credit card several years ago.
The county executive said she had believed the matter had been resolved. But in recent days, the issue generated widespread rumors and speculation after news organizations anonymously received copies of Town of Conklin emails and credit card bills.
A terse statement Friday afternoon from Broome County District Attorney Stephen Cornwell that he had recused himself from any case involving Preston raised questions about what potential legal trouble she could be facing.
Preston refuted rumors that she had been arrested or indicted. She said she would not resign and she would continue to seek another four-year term.
Garnar said if he's elected, he will ask the state comptroller's office to do a full audit of the county executive's office to see whether any "similar types of things have gone on with finances in the office."
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