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Legislator calls for an investigation into COMIDA


A Monroe County legislator is asking the county’s new Office of Public Integrity to look into claims of inappropriate influence on the part of the Monroe County GOP Chair Bill Reilich.

On Friday, while criticizing Irondequoit Town Supervisor Adam Bello, Reilich called the town’s popular project, I-Squared, “failed,” adding the project was in default of its payment in lieu of taxes deal, or PILOT.

I-Square’s developers, Mike and Wendy Nolan, responded over the weekend saying the project has been successful and accused Reilich of targeted the project to score political points.

Bello has been appointed to county clerk and will be have to run for the position in November.

Monday, the County of Monroe Industrial Development Agency, or COMIDA, which is the agency that crafted and monitors the PILOT agreement, backed Reilich’s statement saying the developers had not built a second building by the agreed-upon date.

Wednesday, County Legislator Jim Sheppard, a Democrat, requested an investigation into Reilich’s relationship with COMIDA.

“I think COMIDA really has to be looked at in terms of the chairman’s ability to direct what they do relative to a political agenda,” Sheppard said.

Reilich has declined interviews this week.

The Nolans say they had not heard of the default until Reilich’s press release adding they would have liked to hear if there were a problem with the project meeting milestones required to get tax breaks.

The community has since rallied around the Nolans.

Meantime, County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo, who said she wants to run the most ethical government in the nation, has not responded to interview requests.

In a statement released Tuesday, she said, “All involved should be focused on ensuring the project’s success and that they meet their goals and obligations.”

Dinolfo recently created a new Office of Public Integrity.

Sheppard says that office needs to investigate this situation.

“I understand that there’s no director already appointed, there’s going to be a national search, but at the same time, I think in the meantime, you can appoint an interim director and they can begin that investigation,” Sheppard said.

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