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Dorothy and Stan Solomon protest Kenney allegations about approving false expense reports

STANLEY SOLOMON of Albany called on the Carroll County Commissioners May 28 to censure Commissioner Asha Kenney and accused Kenney of making false accusations and costing County taxpayers thousands of dollars. (Image courtesy of GovernmentOversite.com) (click for larger version)
June 05, 2014
OSSIPEE — "Are there any consequences for reckless behavior on this board?" Albany resident Stanley Solomon asked at the May 28 county commissioner's meeting after Commissioner Asha Kenney repeated the unproven allegation that Solomon's wife, former county commissioner Dorothy Solomon told her to sign false expense reports.

At the May 14 county commissioner's meeting, Commissioner Asha Kenney made the claim that five employees travelled in a van to a conference and all submitted a mileage reimbursement form even though only one had actually driven. She said this happened "a few years ago." She said she questioned the expense reports at the time but was told by former county commissioner Solomon to go ahead and sign the checks because this is how "business is done in the county."

At the May 28 meeting, Dorothy Solomon confronted Kenney during the public comment portion of the commissioner's meeting. "Why you waste the time of this commission with something you have no proof of is beyond me. Even if you should take it back, you have now sullied my name and I resent that. That is not the way a person with any honor would deal," said Solomon. And when she was finished giving her statement, Stanley spoke up, "Commissioner Kenney came to this board simply, I think, to create conflict because that is all she has done since the moment she arrived on this board. She's cost the taxpayers of this community thousands of dollars in creating this conflict and also malfeasance in office. If that is not an impeachable offense it is at least an offense that requires censure. The commissioners know very well that she has been so terribly uncooperative that she's created an enormous amount of conflict that it is time that she were told that this kind of behavior has consequences. She cannot go around making unsubstantiated charges. She has no idea how this affects not only individuals such as my wife but the community in general and the cost to the community. At the very least I think the board can censure her…this is not the first time she has made wild accusations without support," said Stanley.

Kenney said that Solomon did make the statement at the time of the check signing and is now just denying it.

Kenney's fellow commissioners David Sorensen and David Babson agreed the behavior is unacceptable but there is little they can do about it. "I've said on many, many occasions the behavior is unacceptable. I have asked her to resign a couple of times in public. We cannot function as a unit with what goes on here. I just want you to know I've tried to make sure things change but they haven't," said Babson.

"We've had this problem for three years. We have not been able to move forward on it. I have talked with the attorney general's office. They have no authority over county commissioners. I have been to the chairman of the delegation and nothing seems to be taking place. So we have to put up with this until the elections in November," said Sorensen.

"I'm talking about policy. Is it not a good policy that if we have five people going to a conference they carpool and save the taxpayers money? Do you want to tell me no one is carpooling? I think it is good policy if we have five or seven people that they carpool and save the taxpayers money," said Kenney.

Carroll County Rep. Mark McConkey (R-Freedom) as well as this reporter requested that Kenney provide proof of her accusation that employees are charging for mileage when they weren't supposed to. Kenney has asked for extra time to find the information, stating in an email that she needs until June 10 to supply the proof.

Kenney argued in favor of a policy to guide who can claim mileage reimbursement. "It is common sense that if you drive your vehicle you get reimbursed for the mileage. If somebody else is riding with you, common sense would say they have no cost involved and should not be putting in for mileage," said Sorensen.

"Do we need a policy that says you can't steal from your employer and still keep your job? You don't need one. Anyone with half a brain knows that if you don't drive and you don't pay for tolls you don't put in for mileage. Why do you need a policy Commissioner Kenney?" asked Babson.

"I have been putting up with this nonsense for three years. I have evidence and I can point to all the irregularities they say about me," Kenney responded.

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