FOILed Again: Comptroller Will Audit Mayor’s Impact Team
by Geoff Kelly - posted 9:07 am, April 30, 2008
It’s Day 4 since I filed a FOIL request for all records related to budget and expenditures for the Mayor’s Impact Team. The request, filed the afternoon before Channel 7 caught team leader Bill Buyers and two of his team members working on Buyers’ property on city time with city equipment, has been acknowledged but not yet fulfilled.
But at yesterday’s Common Council meeting, the City Comptroller’s office announced that it would audit the Mayor’s Impact Team. My favorite part of the Buffalo News report on the audit:
Peter K. Cutler, Mayor Byron W. Brown’s communications chief, said the administration is aware of a controversy when Buyers worked under a previous administration. He said that there were reports that some city workers might have performed personal tasks for Buyers but that there is no documentation that disciplinary action was taken.
“There is nothing in his personnel file . . . about any suspension or termination,” Cutler said.
I love that Cutler never seems to have any clear memory of the Masiello administration. He talks about it like it’s some foreign country he’s not really convinced exists, rather than an administration in which he served.
In response to all this, a defender of Buyers has posted identical comments both here and at BuffaloPundit. So I’ll share the rumor that drove me to ask a week and a half ago if the City Comptroller had ever audited the Mayor’s Impact Team, and subsequently to FOIL for the team’s financial records: I heard that the Mayor’s Impact Team has used public money to purchase goods for private use.
I don’t know if Buyers is a good guy or not, or how much good work he’s done. I know he’s been in government a long time. If he’s cheating the taxpayer, being a good guy is no defense. And if an audit shows that the Mayor’s Impact Team does this sort of thing regularly and suggests that higher-ups in the administration have turned a blind eye to the practice, then those higher-ups have no defense either.