Herkimer: Former Mayor May Have benefited from Policy Violations
A press release sent out from the Village of Herkimer on Wednesday evening claims that former Herkimer Village Mayor Mark Netti had an unpaid water bill "written off" while he was in office, and he was allowed to avoid late fees that other residents were subjected to.
Acting Village Clerk Amanda Viscomi conducted the investigation and sent out the news release to members of the media.
The release claims that then Mayor Mark Netti failed to pay an $810.92 water bill while he was mayor of the village and instead of the debt being re-levied into his tax bill, it was written off by the village while he was still mayor. Netti was mayor of the village from 2018 until June of 2022, when he lost in the village elections to current Mayor Dana Sherry.
According to Acting Clerk Viscomi, she "sent a demand letter to Mr. Netti for payment." She says, "Netti promptly paid the $810.92 in cash on March 14, 2023."
Viscomi stated that additional irregularities occurred between June of 2020 and December of 2021.
"In June 2020, the State declared a moratorium on water bill charges, which banned late fees during COVID. Water Departments were ordered to notify customers in writing of this benefit. However, the Village records show no such notice was sent to the Village’s 2,800 water customers."
According to Viscose's release, Mayor Netti then signed an agreement to avoid late fees.
"It appears he received the benefit from June 30, 2020 to April 23, 2023, allowing him to avoid late fees for over two and a half years. According to the State order, the waiver should have ended on December 22, 2021," she stated.
Viscomi says that her office is investigating into the matter and the proper authorities have been notified.
Former Mayor Netti seemed unaware of the accusations on Wednesday evening when the release was sent out via email. WIBX sent him a copy of the release.
"It's false," he said and he denied any wrong-doing. He said he was forced to avoid any additional comments until he had the opportunity to speak with his attorney.
Meanwhile, the Acting Herkimer Village Clerk appears to be pursuing a full investigation.
"The Village is committed to transparency and accountability, and will take appropriate action to address any violations of policy or procedures," she added.
WIBX has reached out for additional comment from the Village Clerk's office and is awaiting a response.