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Commissioner Mandryck: “I Will Not Be Resigning My Post.”

Pamela N. Mandryck, OCBE Republican Commissioner

Utica, NY (WIBX) - The Republican Commissioner for the Oneida County Board of Elections will not resign her post. Pamela N. Mandryck made her position clear in a public response to County GOP Chairman George Mitchell. In a released statement yesterday, Mitchell asked Mandryck to resign for the good of the Republican Party.

Today, in addition to rejecting his resignation request, Mandryck accused County Executive Anthony Picente of placing undue influence on the board of elections. She also blames the County Chairman of bowing to the demands of the County Executive.

Mandryck points to the origin of Mitchell’s statement yesterday, which came from a member of the County Executive’s staff. Mandryck said, “This is not the first episode of such exercise and attempted manipulation of the Board of Elections and, sadly, I have definitely been advised that it will not be the last.” Mandrycks’s term as Commissioner started in 2009 and ends at the end of 2012. She says the resignation request is tantamount to political harassment.

The full statement from Commissioner Mandryck:

“It is quite sad that the Oneida County Republican Chairman openly stated that the successful performance of a Commissioner’s duties is not sufficient to allow the person to remain in that position. Further, when one reads the entire press release, including its point of origin, it is more than interesting that the message was released by a member of the County Executive’s staff. Frankly, that fact sums up both the intent and validity of the request being made. One can only deduce that the County Chairman is acquiescing to the demands of the County Executive. The lack of a County Committee meeting further supports this conclusion.

The County Executive is unhappy with the day-to-day operations of the Board of Elections based upon comments from a dissatisfied staff member at the Board who has been relieved of some of her previous responsibility due to necessity. This person was absent from the office for the election process (10 weeks at full pay), had not implemented the inspector training process as I had directed and this process needed to be completed in order to ensure satisfactory inspector staffing for the upcoming elections. Those duties were assigned to an individual who was on the job and able to accomplish the monumental task of catching up with the efforts that should have been done previously. While it is unfortunate that I was forced to take these specific steps to correct the situation, I had no other choice in order to protect the integrity of the election process and the rights of the voting public.

Further, the law explicitly establishes the Board of Elections as an autonomous entity precisely to preclude any elected individual from placing or attempting to place undo influence, in any manner, upon the Board of Elections and thus the election process. This is not the first episode of such exercise and attempted manipulation of the Board of Elections and, sadly, I have been definitively advised that it will not be the last.

While it would be much simpler and less stressful to resign and allow the County Executive to force his will upon the Board of Elections, I have received substantial support from staff, vendors, the New York State Board of Elections, elected officials, committee members and leaders and, most importantly, voters, all adamantly opposed to my resignation. Hence, and with all due respect to the Chairman of the County Republican Committee, I will not be resigning my post.”

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