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Boehlert: I am not under investigation

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  • Gino's Railpage
    Boehlert: I am not under investigation Lobbying commission is looking into events held by Walter Rich By Tom Grace Cooperstown News Bureau Rep. Sherwood
    Message 1 of 2 , Feb 9 6:12 AM
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      Boehlert: I am not under investigation


      Lobbying commission is looking into events held by Walter Rich

      By Tom Grace

      Cooperstown News Bureau

      Rep. Sherwood Boehlert, R-New Hartford, is not being investigated by
      the New York State Lobbying Commission, the congressman said Monday.

      That commission is examining parties hosted by Boehlert's friend
      Walter Rich to see whether they violated state lobbying rules.

      Every summer on Baseball Hall of Fame weekend, Rich, president and
      chief executive officer of the New York Susquehanna & Western Railway,
      hosts large parties for politicians, including Boehlert.

      The parties are held at Rich's residence, Edgewater, a 19th-century
      brick mansion owned by the NYS&W's parent company, the Delaware-Otsego
      Corporation.

      Boehlert said his annual party is well-attended and fun and he always
      pays for services rendered. For his last party there, he paid $10,825,
      according to his spokesman, Sam Marchio.

      "For many people, it's the social event of the summer season in
      Cooperstown, especially if you're a baseball fan," Boehlert said. "And
      I'm a baseball nut."

      But state lobbying regulators have not asked him for information about
      his parties because he is a federal and not a state employee, he said.

      As a House member, Boehlert is subject to the Lobbying Disclosure Act
      and other federal rules. He said that because he and Rich have known
      each other since before 1982, when he was first elected to Congress,
      their relationship comes under the "friendship exception" that allows
      them to exchange gifts.

      "Walter and I are good friends," Boehlert said. "I stood up for him at
      his wedding, and he met his wife at one of my functions.

      "So I don't have to worry. He can't give me a $10,000 party, but he
      can give me gifts and I don't have to report them."

      Nonetheless, Boehlert said, he does not accept gifts from Rich and
      even pays his host when he happens to spend the night at Edgewater.

      "I do that just to make sure everything is above-board," he said.

      David Grandeau, the Lobbying Commission's executive director, said it
      has no authority over federal officials. The current investigation of
      Rich's parties stems from an investigation conducted by the state
      attorney general's and inspector general's offices in 2003-04, he
      said.

      When Grandeau was asked Monday what had led the Lobbying Commission to
      investigate Rich's Hall of Fame parties, he cited the 2004 report,
      which states that Rich estimates his Hall of Fame weekend parties cost
      about $100,000 to produce.

      The essence of the lobbying investigation is to determine whether the
      beneficiaries of the parties adequately paid for them or whether the
      parties might constitute gifts. Under state law, politicians can not
      take gifts worth more than $75 from lobbyists.

      Attorney Nathan Fenno, who represents the NYS&W, said Tuesday that
      Rich's HOF weekend parties are not just for politicians.

      "The railroad invites guests, and for the past few years, we've had
      parties for The Salvation Army, too," he said.

      Fenno said Rich and other NYS&W executives believe they have done nothing wrong.

      "We've been asked to provide information for the Commission, and we've
      provided it," he said.

      --
      www.ginosrailpage.com
      www.fjgrr.org
    • paul larner
      ALso Pataki and box seats at the Super Bowl.
      Message 2 of 2 , Feb 9 8:13 AM
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        ALso Pataki and box seats at the Super Bowl.


        >From: Gino's Railpage <fjgrailroad@...>
        >Reply-To: FJGRailroad@yahoogroups.com
        >To: FJGRailroad@yahoogroups.com, DOS Group <DOSystem@yahoogroups.com>,
        >gcdranet@yahoogroups.com, Railroad_CACV@yahoogroups.com
        >Subject: [FJGRailroad] Boehlert: I am not under investigation
        >Date: Thu, 9 Feb 2006 09:12:40 -0500
        >
        >Boehlert: I am not under investigation
        >
        >
        >Lobbying commission is looking into events held by Walter Rich
        >
        >By Tom Grace
        >
        >Cooperstown News Bureau
        >
        >Rep. Sherwood Boehlert, R-New Hartford, is not being investigated by
        >the New York State Lobbying Commission, the congressman said Monday.
        >
        >That commission is examining parties hosted by Boehlert's friend
        >Walter Rich to see whether they violated state lobbying rules.
        >
        >Every summer on Baseball Hall of Fame weekend, Rich, president and
        >chief executive officer of the New York Susquehanna & Western Railway,
        >hosts large parties for politicians, including Boehlert.
        >
        >The parties are held at Rich's residence, Edgewater, a 19th-century
        >brick mansion owned by the NYS&W's parent company, the Delaware-Otsego
        >Corporation.
        >
        >Boehlert said his annual party is well-attended and fun and he always
        >pays for services rendered. For his last party there, he paid $10,825,
        >according to his spokesman, Sam Marchio.
        >
        >"For many people, it's the social event of the summer season in
        >Cooperstown, especially if you're a baseball fan," Boehlert said. "And
        >I'm a baseball nut."
        >
        >But state lobbying regulators have not asked him for information about
        >his parties because he is a federal and not a state employee, he said.
        >
        >As a House member, Boehlert is subject to the Lobbying Disclosure Act
        >and other federal rules. He said that because he and Rich have known
        >each other since before 1982, when he was first elected to Congress,
        >their relationship comes under the "friendship exception" that allows
        >them to exchange gifts.
        >
        >"Walter and I are good friends," Boehlert said. "I stood up for him at
        >his wedding, and he met his wife at one of my functions.
        >
        >"So I don't have to worry. He can't give me a $10,000 party, but he
        >can give me gifts and I don't have to report them."
        >
        >Nonetheless, Boehlert said, he does not accept gifts from Rich and
        >even pays his host when he happens to spend the night at Edgewater.
        >
        >"I do that just to make sure everything is above-board," he said.
        >
        >David Grandeau, the Lobbying Commission's executive director, said it
        >has no authority over federal officials. The current investigation of
        >Rich's parties stems from an investigation conducted by the state
        >attorney general's and inspector general's offices in 2003-04, he
        >said.
        >
        >When Grandeau was asked Monday what had led the Lobbying Commission to
        >investigate Rich's Hall of Fame parties, he cited the 2004 report,
        >which states that Rich estimates his Hall of Fame weekend parties cost
        >about $100,000 to produce.
        >
        >The essence of the lobbying investigation is to determine whether the
        >beneficiaries of the parties adequately paid for them or whether the
        >parties might constitute gifts. Under state law, politicians can not
        >take gifts worth more than $75 from lobbyists.
        >
        >Attorney Nathan Fenno, who represents the NYS&W, said Tuesday that
        >Rich's HOF weekend parties are not just for politicians.
        >
        >"The railroad invites guests, and for the past few years, we've had
        >parties for The Salvation Army, too," he said.
        >
        >Fenno said Rich and other NYS&W executives believe they have done nothing
        >wrong.
        >
        >"We've been asked to provide information for the Commission, and we've
        >provided it," he said.
        >
        >--
        >www.ginosrailpage.com
        >www.fjgrr.org
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