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ZALEWSKI VS. "MR." GALUMPSKI #TroyCrazy

kmccashion Nov 13th, 2014 404 Never
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  1. From: Ken Zalewski <zalewski@troycitycouncil.com>
  2. Date: November 13, 2014 at 8:06:08 AM EST
  3. To: ethics@troyny.gov, eshaw7@nycap.rr.com, John Cubit <jcubit@nycap.rr.com>
  4. Cc: Troy City Council Members <all-members@troycitycouncil.com>,  Troy City Council Secretary <secretary@troycitycouncil.com>
  5. Subject: Possible ethics complaint
  6.  
  7. Reverend Shaw, Mr. Cubit, and members of the Ethics Commission:
  8.  
  9. At last night's 6:30pm Special Organizational meeting, I was verbally threatened by one of my colleagues on the City Council - Gary Galuski.  His exact statement to me was, "If you ever embarrass me like that again, I'll take you out."
  10.  
  11. This was overheard by at least one of my colleagues on the Council, and possibly others.  I have no way to discern the seriousness or validity of his threat, but I left City Hall last night fearing for my own safety.
  12.  
  13. I am not certain if this incident is one that is in the purview of the Ethics Commission, or one that must be brought to the Troy Police Department, but a member of the news media mentioned the Ethics Commission to me, so this is where I am starting.
  14.  
  15. Some background on this incident follows:
  16.  
  17. The Council was discussing the appointment of Ms. Rhonda Reed to the position of Assistant City Clerk - a position that pays $27,835.00.  Mr. Galuski was opposed to this appointment, as he was advocating for the daughter of his co-worker at the Board of the Elections.  Mr. Galuski questioned President Wiltshire heavily, which is certainly within his rights.  He also touted the qualifications of his preferred candidate, which is again within his rights, even though the legislation in front of us did not mention that individual.  Ms. Kopka also engaged in a similar, but more compact, line of questioning.
  18.  
  19. When it was my turn to speak, I reminded Mr. Galuski that, back in 2008, we (both he and I) voted to appoint a political operative - William McInerney - to the position of City Clerk.  We never requested a resume, and we never met with or questioned the candidate.  I also reminded Mr. Galuski that the Clerk's Office back then was run as a political arm of the Democratic Party in Troy.  Every time I walked into the office, I would get an earful of how corrupt Mayor Tutunjian is, how horrible the Republicans are, and what we should do to stymie them.  I received press releases from the Deputy City Clerk that made my skin crawl - making outrageous accusations against the Mayor and his administration.  I mentioned that the Clerk, a close friend of Mr. Galuski, later pleaded guilty to the felony crime of ballot fraud.
  20.  
  21. I was attempting to note the hypocrisy of Mr. Galuski's line of questioning regarding Ms. Reed's qualifications, when he never pursued such questioning in 2008 for a more important position, the position of City Clerk.
  22.  
  23. I then contrasted the Clerk's Office of the past to the Clerk's Office of today, under the direction of Cheryl Christiansen and her Deputy Clerk Luci Taylor.  I mentioned that every time I walk into the Clerk's Office now, they are hard at work issuing licenses, generating Council agendas, and serving the people of Troy.  I have never heard a negative word about any person come from either of them.  Nor have I ever heard them engage in political strategy or any other type of politics.  I commended President Wiltshire on his appointments, and indicated that I trust both his and Clerk Christiansen's latest selection to fill the position of Assistant Clerk.
  24.  
  25. The legislation passed in a 6 to 3 vote, with Galuski, Kopka, and Teta voting against.
  26.  
  27. After the meeting was adjourned, Mr. Galuski approached me, and semi-whispered in my left ear, "If you ever embarrass me like that again, I'll take you out."  This was overheard by President Wiltshire, who was to my right.  My initial retort was, "Gary, you embarrass yourself."  It took me a few moments to register that he had just threatened me, and I then asked, "Did you just threaten me?"  We then talked over each other for a few more moments, and then I got up and walked out of the room to cool down and process what had just occurred.
  28.  
  29. I have not received any type of acknowledgement or apology from Mr. Galuski, and after sleeping on it, I have decided to explore my options for assuring that Mr. Galuski is held accountable for his statements.  This is a part-time job for me, and I have no desire to have the petty politics of Troy government somehow affect my life or my safety in a negative manner.
  30.  
  31. Please let me know if this is a case that is in the purview of the Ethics Commission.
  32.  
  33. Thank you for your attention to this matter.
  34.  
  35.  
  36. Sincerely,
  37.  
  38. Ken Zalewski
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