Back in August, 2019, Bill McTygue and Ann Bullock accused Eddie Miller of the Independence Party and the members of the Saratoga Springs City Council of colluding in an agreement over the purchase of energy contracts.
Briefly, the city’s Ethics Board investigated the allegations and found them without merit. The police investigated the allegations and declined to bring charges. McTygue and Bullock complained of a conspiracy in city hall and brought their allegations to the New York State Attorney General.
At the time I wrote a long post reporting on the cynical charges the two had brought forward in their attempt to smear the members of the City Council during an election year. As leaders of the group heavily involved in trying to unseat the Mayor and City Council members last fall, McTygue and Bullock used press coverage of their allegations to try to portray the city government as a cesspool of corruption.
Two Stories From Alternate Universes?
So way back in the August 19, 2019, edition of the Times Union the story of the original allegations was reported under the headline:
“Complaint dismissed by Saratoga Springs officials goes to state Attorney General’s office”
Now, more than a year later (October 13, 2020) the same reporter (Wendy Liberatore) publishes a new story under the headline:
“Two Saratogians ask AG to review city gas, electric bids”
Does this new story’s headline sound rather familiar? Yes, except this headline is missing the inconvenient reference to the allegations having been dismissed a year ago.
Now a reasonable person might have expected the new story to inform the readers that this is the second time McTygue and Bullock have brought their complaints to the Attorney General and that after more than a year the Attorney General’s office has declined to bring any action.
Again, a reasonable person might have expected the reporter to contact the Attorney General’s office to find out why, since August of last year, the Attorney General has apparently taken no action.
A reasonable person would be disappointed. Instead, although there is a brief mention of a police investigation that dismissed McTygue’s and Bullock’s accusations the story reads as though these are new, shocking revelations. There is no mention that their charges were discredited over a year ago by the city’s Ethics Board and that the Attorney General had apparently decided not to pursue them over the past fourteen months.
McTygue and Bullock are among the leadership of the group campaigning for charter change. It is probably not coincidental that McTygue and Bullock waited a full year, until just before their charter proposal would be on the ballot, to try to bring their allegations back to life. Regrettably, the Times Union now serves as the hand maiden to their campaign. It repeats McTygue’s and Bullock’s harsh condemnation of the City Council as made up basically of criminals. This is consistent with the charter change narrative that somehow the commission form of government is particularly subject to corruption and needs to be replaced. It is not surprising then that the same day the TU article was published, McTygue visited the Saratoga Works website (they oppose the charter) and put up a link to the story.
Here are links to the original story and the new one.