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Where art thou, Steve Casey?

Brown and casey

We're into Week Two of the mayoral campaign, incumbent Byron Brown vs. challenger Mickey Kearns.

Early, I know, but not too early to ask:

(1) What role will Steve Casey play in the Brown campaign?

(2) Will he be doing it on the taxpayers'  dime?

These are fair questions, given that Casey managed Brown's campaign four years ago while still drawing a state paycheck. He'd have us believe he worked 12-to-15-hour days on the campaign trail while still putting in an honest day's work with the State Senate.

As I reported nearly four years ago, Brown and Casey insisted everything was done on the up and up.

But when I asked for payroll records to back up their story, well, they were not willing to share. The State Legislature exempts itself from releasing the kind of payroll information every other government employer in the state has to disclose, and the mayor-elect hid behind that loophole.

 "There is absolutely no problem, no issue with the use of this time," Brown said. "It is proper and legal according to the policies and procedures of the New York State Senate."
 
"I was smart about everything I did," added Casey, in line to be one of Brown's two deputy mayors. "I made sure everything I did was legal."

Brown, however, has refused to turn over payroll records to substantiate his claim.

What's more, there's a question as to whether Casey, in particular, could have banked enough time to cover the long hours he has worked the past year on the Brown campaign and transition.

Brown, in an interview during the race, spoke of spending 15 hours a day with Casey as his campaign manager.

DA Frank Clark looked into the matter and decided everything was hunky dory.

Big surprise, huh?

But I digress.

Putin That was then, this is now, but no one in the know seriously thinks Casey will play anything but a central role in the upcoming campaign.

The guy has a reputation for being both a hard worker and a control freak. He no doubt has already invested a fair amount of time.

Probably the best we can expect is that Casey plays a Putin-type role in the campaign, giving the top title to someone else while holding most of the real power.

The question remains: "On whose dime will he be campaigning?"

Casey isn't saying. I called his office last week to discuss, but was told he was unwilling to talk. Sooner or later, however, he or Brown are going to need to address this issue with the public.

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City Hall | Politics
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