Mike Kane, the Democratic candidate for the County Legislator District 1 seat has called for an investigation into a possible cover up of the arrest of Republican incumbent, John Testa’s, aide on Sept. 9. Testa calls Kane's statement "ridciulous" and shameful.
The aide, Bernard Molloy, 51, was arrested on Sept. 9 at 11:37 p.m. on Crompond Road in Cortlandt for driving while intoxicated. His blood alcohol content was more than twice the legal limit at .17 percent, according to the New York State Police. Molloy was charged with a felony because it was his second DWI offense; the first, to which he plead guilty, was in March 2010.
On Sept. 15 Molloy was notified by the Board of Legislators leadership that he would be suspended without pay from his job as an aide and required to participate in an employee assistance program.
Kane says that the amount of time it took for the Board to suspend Molloy was too long.
“The Westchester County Board of Legislators needs to launch an immediate investigation into what Legislator Testa knew,” Kane said, “And when he knew it, to ensure public officials aren't protecting individuals on the county payroll from facing the consequences of criminal activity.”
“It is a ridiculous statement,” Testa says of Kane’s accusation of a cover up. “We are in a political season, and (they are) seizing on someone else’s misstep to make it a political issue, which it is not. He should be ashamed.”
Testa says that he and the Board were not informed of the arrest until Monday, Sept. 12, in the midst of preparing for primaries that were held the next day. He said that the minority and majority leadership had to discuss and consult with human resources on how to handle the situation.
“We feel we have a personal responsibility to the person to help him and to give him the assistance...that employees of the county are afforded,” County Legislator John Testa said of the Republican leadership’s ultimate decision to only suspend, not fire, Molloy.
Chairman of the Board of Legislators, Ken Jenkins, provided Molloy with the letter informing him of his suspension on Thursday, Sept. 15.
Kane and Testa faced off in a write-in primary but the results have not yet been released. They will compete for the County Legislator District 1 seat in the general election on Nov. 8.