Weights and Measures Director appears before committee, refuses to answers questions

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At today’s Finance and Management Committee, members of the Legislature questioned Edwin Gonsiorek, Director of Weights and Measures, whose division was the subject of an investigation by the Comptroller’s Office. Unfortunately, only some of the questions were answered.

 

After answering questions about improper testing and fining methods revealed during the investigation, Mr. Gonsiorek refused to answer any additional questions, including why he stored his personal vehicle in a county garage and had employees work on the vehicle during work hours for several months.

 

“The administration has conceded that there was wrongdoing by Mr. Gonsiorek and has stated that disciplinary action has been taken, but will not disclose what that action was. It is my understanding that corrective action concerning improper procedure is taking place. However, the administration, who has been handling this issue, has to ensure local businesses that they are protected from being improperly fined. I don’t know if that has happened,” said Finance and Management Committee Chairman, Legislator Joseph Lorigo. “Overall, I am not satisfied with Mr. Gonsiorek’s testimony, and I am disappointed that he would not answer publicly to taxpayers about his actions.”

 

The findings of the investigation included:

 

  • Businesses being fined based on field inspections never conducted by the department
  • Falsely reporting phony results of these inspections to New York State
  • Mr. Gonsiorek used of the Division of Weights and Measures garage to store his privately owned vehicle
  • Mr. Gonsiorek directed county employees to work on his personal vehicle during government work hours

 

“The findings of the investigation deserved to be vetted openly. The media has taken a huge interest in this issue, recognizing that these are serious missteps by a division that has the authority to fine our local businesses. We did not get answers to all of our questions and I am discouraged that the administration has not been open with the public during this ordeal,” said Legislator Edward Rath, Vice Chairman of the Finance and Management Committee.

 

After refusing to appear before the Legislature on several occasions, Mr. Gonsiorek was issued a subpoena on Oct. 29 compelling his testimony. His response to questions that he chose not to answer at today’s committee was that he had already answered to them during a private meeting.