The Broome County Office of Energy Development has been operating for almost seven weeks without authorization from lawmakers.

The legislature could vote on approving the office this Thursday.

Some Broome County residents have questioned the real purpose of the office, which was created by County Executive Debra Preston.

The office went into operation early last month prior to a vote by the legislature. The office was opened without advance notice to the public or to lawmakers.

Isaac Silberman-Gorn of Citizen Action of New York this afternoon issued a statement contending Preston "misappropriated funds" to set up the office without legislative approval.

According to Silberman-Gorn, all of the office's stated goals are covered by existing programs.

His statement suggested the initiative was being used as a cover to promote Preston's "personal agenda of fracking."

Preston could not be reached for comment.

Telephone messages left for James Worhach, the county executive's communications coordinator, were not immediately returned.

Office of Energy Development director Margaret Scarinzi could not be reached for comment.