Councilman Brian Drabkin waiting for his turn to be interviewed during the Two-Party Conference, conducted on February 17, 2015 in the New York State Division of Human Rights office in Albany.
Present in the conference room:
Lisa DiCocco – HRSI
Manuela Michailescu – Complainant
Mary Lou Christiana – Attorney for Respondent, Town of Rochester
Interview of Councilman Brian Drabkin:
(with my two cents in the narrow column)
Q: How long have you been on the Board?
Mr. Drabkin: This is my fourth year. I was appointed to fill a vacancy several years ago, and it was a similar process that we went through when we chose someone recently. I got involved in town government sometime in 1994. Ms. Michailescu and I didn’t ever work together; I got her seat when she ran for County Legislature.
Let me translate this last sentence by quoting from Holiday spirits in Drabkinland:
As Terry Bernardo was running for a second time and nobody was stepping up to challenge her, Manuela Michailescu gave the voters a choice by forcing a primary. At that time David O’Halloran was Bernardo’s most ardent supporter, so he did everything in his power to assure Terry Bernardo’s re-election as Legislator and, at the same time, eliminate Manuela Michailescu from the Town Board race. When asked to schedule the Town Caucus after the Republican Primary, O’Halloran stated that the Caucus is going to be early, before the Primary, because… “Brian is excited” to join the Town Board! Obviously David was even more excited to have his puppet on the Town Board!
Brian Drabkin ran unopposed and surprise, surprise, he got in, but the election results show 860 blanks. O’Halloran achieved a trifecta: Manuela out, Bernardo and Drabkin in.
Surprise, surprise, on April 16, 2015, at Town Board’s Special Meeting immediately following the public hearing regarding VLTs in the Town of Rochester – in other words at O’Halloran’s Pinegrove – Councilman Drabkin introduced the favorable resolution.
Q: What is your political affiliation?
Mr. Drabkin: We are both members of the same party.
Q: Do you have any knowledge of the derogatory blog comments made about Ms. Michailescu?
Mr. Drabkin: Most of the things are anonymous and that’s something that I don’t respect. I’ve never paid any attention to it.
Q: When did the board vacancy happen?
Mr. Drabkin: In August 2014. I was a voting member of the board.
Q: Were you involved in that decision?
Mr. Drabkin: I was involved in the decision to appoint Cindy Fornino.
Q: Why was Cindy Fornino appointed?
Mr. Drabkin: My obligation was to vote for who I thought would be the best and I did that.
Hiring for four months only, the Town Board had the obligation to vote for the best qualified applicant, not for a trainee.
A few minutes after the appointment of Cindy Fornino was made,
Brain Brian Drabkin proposed a few illegal schemes to “train” Cindy Fornino on auditing the bills, but was shut down by the Town’s Attorney.
Q: Why wasn’t Ms. Michailescu not selected?
Mr. Drabkin: I did not feel that she was the best candidate. Her country of origin had nothing to do with it.
Did not feel that she was the best candidate? How do you square this with Supervisor Carl Chipman’s statement during his call to Manuela Michailescu a week before the appointment?
Carl Chipman: You know… Brian Drabkin hates you, you had an incident at the Christmas party…
For the record, there was no incident at the Christmas party featuring Brian and Manuela. What it really happened was reported in Holiday spirits in Drabkinland.
P.S. – Sorry, Drabkin, I forgot to wish you a happy belated birthday… On the other hand, how many people get to spend their birthday in Albany, being interviewed by an investigator with the New York State Division of Human Rights?
(To be continued)
– Jon Dogar-Marinesco