County executive debate gets heated

Posted: Updated:
WHITE PLAINS -

Republican County Executive Rob Astorino and Democratic state Sen. George Latimer went head to head in a heated debate Tuesday.

It was the first debate between the two candidates and was hosted by the Westchester Business Council in White Plains.

Latimer proposed new legislation to crack down on corruption, with a finger pointed squarely at his Republican opponent.

Surrounded by supporters on the steps of Rye City Hall, Latimer said that if elected to Westchester's top job, he would propose legislation that would compel county officials to disclose whether they have been subpoenaed by any law enforcement agency.

"We cannot ensure that there's public integrity unless public officials disclose those situations where subpoenas are authorized and subpoenas issued are being debated and discussed,” he said.

Latimer says the proposed legislation is needed after Astorino was subpoenaed by federal investigators last year over a $15,000 donation made to his campaign back in 2013 by a Manhattan businessman.

Jona Rechnitz pleaded guilty to bribery charges in March and is expected in federal court later this month.

The Astorino campaign says the money was spent back in 2013, but as a measure of goodwill, $15,000 was donated to several Westchester charities last year.

Astorino officials also say all the documents the feds requested were handed over.

"George is doing this to try and throw a big smoke bomb up because of his tax issue,” says Astorino.

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