Preston: I Haven’t Been Arrested and I Won’t Resign
Broome County Executive Debra Preston during a news conference on October 11, 2016. [Bob Joseph/WNBF News][/caption]
Broome County Executive Debra Preston said she will not resign following days of rumors and speculation surrounding her personal use of a Town of Conklin credit card years ago.
Preston spoke with reporters in her downtown Binghamton office late Tuesday afternoon. She acknowledged that in 2011 in she made bought personal items with the card. But she said she ultimately paid for all of her purchases.
Preston said she has written to New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli asking him to conduct a "full audit" of the use of the town credit card.
The county executive said the town "never lost a nickel" as a result of her actions. But in her letter to DiNapoli, she said, she regrets using the credit card for her own purchases.
Preston, a Republican, said she had been told "the matter had been resolved." She noted the issue became public about a month before Election Day. She's facing a challenge from Democrat Jason Garnar.
Preston said: "I guess it's an October surprise." But the county executive said she didn't know who was behind the effort to circulate the information.
Garnar could not be reached immediately to comment on Preston's remarks.
An emotional Preston fought back tears as she said: "I am so sorry." She repeated: "I am not quitting... I've never been a quitter and I'm not going to start now."
Broome County District Attorney Stephen Cornwell last Friday announced he had recused himself from any case involving Preston. On Tuesday, he requested that a special prosecutor be appointed to review any issues surrounding her inappropriate use of the town credit card.
Reporters in the Broome County Executive's office on October 11, 2016. [Bob Joseph/WNBF News][/caption]
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