Special Prosecutor Named to Investigate Preston
Broome County Executive Debra Preston as she prepared to speak with reporters on October 11, 2016. [Bob Joseph/WNBF News][/caption]
A special prosecutor has been assigned to investigate Broome County Executive Debra Preston's use of a credit card when she was Town of Conklin supervisor.
An administrative judge assigned a special prosecutor to review the actions of Debra Preston. [Bob Joseph/WNBF News][/caption]
Administrative Judge Molly Fitzgerald on Thursday assigned Schuyler County District Attorney Joseph Fazzary to the review.
The move follows the announcement by Broome County District Attorney Stephen Cornwell that he had recused himself from any case involving Preston.
Fitzgerald's assignment directed Fazzary's office and its assistant district attorneys to act as special prosecutors in light of the decision by Cornwell not to be involved.
Cornwell was directed to deliver "all documents, records and materials" relating to the Preston investigation to the special prosecutor.
During an emotional session with reporters on Tuesday, Preston admitted she had used a town credit card for personal purchases when she was supervisor. But she said all of the bills had been paid and she believed the matter had been resolved.
Preston wrote to the state comptroller's office requesting a "full audit" into her use of the credit card. She insisted her actions had not cost Town of Conklin taxpayers any money.
Preston contended the credit card issue was being used as an "October surprise" less than a month before the November 8 election.
The Republican county executive is seeking another four-year term. She is being challenged by Democrat Jason Garnar, who said he had no idea who provided information about the credit card issue to Binghamton news organizations.
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