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Breslin says he won't veto county budget

Albany County Executive Michael Breslin will not veto any portion of the Albany County budget, according Mary Duryea, a representative of the county executive.

On Monday, Dec. 14, Duryea said Breslin's office was forwarded a copy of the official budget, but will not veto it. Under the county charter, the executive's power only calls for a veto of a spending increase, and Duryea said any cuts to that would cripple county government operations.

She said, though, the executive continues to have some concerns about the budget and the county's nursing home, and they will be addressed in the coming week.

Breslin's decision comes in the wake of an allegation made by Albany County Legislator Richard Mendick, R-Selkirk that claims there have been changes in the adopted budget "by unknown county officials that falsely identifies it as one passed by the County Legislature."

He said there are 11 differences between the document approved by the legislature on Dec. 7 and the one that was submitted to the Albany County comptroller.

The budget passed 27 to 12, with Mendick voting against.

Mendick alleges a "dangerous game of bait and switch" with tax money and said that close to $2 million in reserve funds, not approved by the legislature, was added to balance the budget.

"I have determined that the changes made are deliberate," said Mendick. "I am calling for the legislature to investigate these deceptive actions. Someone has falsely presented this budget as the one approved by the legislature and it's not.

Mendick is calling for a bi-partisan committee to investigate the situation.

Mendick said the executive has the ability to make certain changes under the county charter, but after a budget is voted on by the legislature, there are no provisions in the charter allowing for legislative changes.

He charges that close to $2 million in reserve funds was added in an attempt to correct budget deficiencies. He said he is concerned this is a "planned maneuver to deceive both the County Legislature and the taxpayers."

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