Judge orders Westchester exec to enforce law on contracts board

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A state supreme court judge has ordered Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino to immediately begin enforcing a law changing the composition of the county contracts board. The law has been the subject of a drawn out fight between Astorino and the Board of Legislators.

The law, passed in late 2011 over Astorino’s veto, replaces Public Works Commissioner Jay Pisco on the Board of Acquisition and Contract with the budget director. Pisco serves at Astorino’s pleasure but Budget Director Larry Soule has a set term on office. The contracts board, which approves most county contracts, is made up of the county executive, the chairman of the Legislature and, until now, the public works commissioner.

Astorino long argued the law is invalid because it wasn’t put to referendum and refused to enforce it. But the judge said to use that defense he would have to bring the full Board of Legislators into the case. The original suit was brought by three Democratic leaders as individuals. Astorino declined to bring in the board and the judge disallowed his major arguments.

“The County Executive is required to implement legislative policy declarations which are not effectively vetoed or judicially invalidated,” the judge wrote, ordering Pisco to stop sitting on the contracts board.

It’s not immediately clear whether any of Pisco’s past votes on the contracts board will be invalidated. Most votes on the board are unanimous.

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11 Comments

  1. Nobody is above the law li'l bobby on

    News bulletin bobby: Laws apply to you just like everyone else. You are just an elected official; not the monarch you obviously believe yourself to be. It’s about time a court shoved this fundamental principal of law down your throat. Now go fire some more county workers so you can hire some more useless cronies to tell you how great you are. And then don’t forget to go to church on sunday in your usual attempt to project what a great person you are you hypocrite.

  2. 8 blind mice on

    This is a tatic Jenkins used when he had the super majority. Try it now. I also believe that they needed atleast a permissive referendum to change the make up of that Board because it is a charter change.

  3. Jenkins’ constituency is of people who don’t pay taxes. That’s why he supports spending above all else.

  4. Ray of Truth on

    And if the Little Prince wants to appeal, he can no longer use the County Attorney to represent him court, according to another ruling this week. Which means he’ll be using taxpayer dollars to keep breaking the law. Wonderful!

  5. November Five on

    I don’t see any political patronage hacks stepping up to defend the illegal actions of the Astorino administration on this column.
    The law is the law and it applies to everyone.
    All those Republican Legislators who defended the illegality by Astorino back in late 2011 should now step up to remind us taxpayers of their willingness to be law breakers.

  6. Nobody is above the law li'l bobby on

    Who do you think “8 blind mice” and “rightnyer” are Number Five?

  7. RealityCheck on

    This is a good day! Yes there is justice and fairness in Westchester – Let’s all celebrate!!!!!!

  8. We are becoming more and more disappointed with Astorino. He is tarnished with every revelation that he and his administration is seemingly corrupt, not saying the truth, and extremely mean spirited in their attitudes and behind the scene actions in spite of his public appearance image.
    We wont be so willing to believe his words going forward.