County chair's future in question after Kriss scandal

Following the resignation of the Westchester County Board chairman?s top aide amid allegations of improper behavior, many local lawmakers are wondering about the future of the county chair. Legislator

News 12 Staff

Nov 12, 2008, 8:02 PM

Updated 5,703 days ago

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Following the resignation of the Westchester County Board chairman?s top aide amid allegations of improper behavior, many local lawmakers are wondering about the future of the county chair.
Legislator Jim Maisano (R) says Board Chairman William Ryan has a lot of work to do to restore public trust in light of Monday?s arrest of his chief adviser, Gary Kriss.
Kriss has been charged with theft of services after reports had surfaced that he allegedly sent his assistant to Starbucks to read his novel on county time.
?This scandal has cast a dark cloud over the county legislator,? Maisano says.
Hours after being arraigned, Kriss faxed a handwritten letter of resignation to Ryan, who says he is eager to move past the incident.
Critics, however, demand Ryan to respond to some unanswered questions in the case. Namely, many are wondering whether Ryan was aware that his adviser allegedly used taxpayer dollars to make personal purchases and have his assistant, who is on county payroll, design the book cover for his novel.
?We have a duty to taxpayers to stop corruption, especially in our own government,? Maisano says.
Some county legislators think that the scandal involving Kriss severely jeopardized Ryan?s leadership, and he should step down. Ryan, however, says the voters will be the ones to decide his fate next November.
In the meantime, Kriss has pleaded not guilty to four counts against him. If convicted, he will face four years in prison.


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