Dan O’Neill and Fran Surak, former members of the Buchanan village board, took exception to Al Donahue’s account of the use of grant money for a community center. O’Neill is a former mayor who succeeded Donahue in office.
Donahue’s initial letter is posted below.
The following is an attempt to address the misrepresentations and
misstatements made in Al Donahue’s ‘response’ printed in the Journal
News (webiste) on June 11, 2010:
First, none of the $365,000 used to improve Buchanan’s recreation
facilities is missing. The NYS Comptroller’s office report does not
state that there was any money missing. Nor did the Village of
Buchanan’s auditor ever raise any concerns about how the money was
Second, there was extensive documentation of how the money was spent
when we were in office. All contracts were bid in accordance with State
law and the documentation was maintained in the Village offices.
Donahue has not answered the question of what happened to the paperwork
from the time he took office in April 2008 until the Comptroller’s
office began their audit in 2009. It should be kept in mind that for
months Donahue was not only the Mayor, but the acting Village
Administrator, Clerk and Treasurer.
Third, the money was spent on upgrading recreation facilities because
$365,000 was not nearly enough to construct a new building and the
recreation facilities were in need of improvement. Buchanan residents
have benefitted from the improvements to the Veterans Pavilion, ball
fields, pool, tennis courts and other facilities.
Fourth, one would think that Donahue actually knows what the money was
used for because his daughter, Cindy Lynch, was the Buchanan Recreation
Supervisor at the time and worked with us to determine how best the
money should be utilized.
Fifth, the Village Board discussed use of the monies frequently at
Village Board meetings. Donahue attended Village Board meetings only
before election time.
Sixth, Donahue is leaving out the Comptroller’s findings that while
Mayor he entered into no-bid contracts on behalf of the Village, in
violation of the NYS General Municipal Law, and did not properly audit
claims that the Village paid.
Donahue’s ‘Response’ is a reminder of why the voters of Buchanan sent
him packing In March of this year.
Dan O’Neill, Mayor 2002-2008
Fran Surak, Village Trustee (and Village Board recreation liaison),