Candidate for Albany mayor releases email with harsh allegations against current mayor

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – The Albany mayoral race is heating up after Democratic Candidate Frank Commisso Jr. released an email and made harsh allegations against his opponent Kathy Sheehan.

Commisso says an email proves that the city of Albany was trying to hide its true financial status, but Mayor Sheehan says that’s just simply not true.

“You know, for folks to come forward is a courageous thing, and that’s what has happened in this case,” Commisso Jr. said.

Commisso released the email on Wednesday between a budget finance consultant and a city of Albany official. He says it was obtained by a whistleblower in city government dated January 7, 2016. It discusses how the city should disclose certain financial information in its application for $12.5 million in state aid.

Commisso says it shows officials wanted to hide the true financial status of the city that faces a more than $20 million deficit. The email discusses whether the city should count money it collects for Albany County in its cash flow or not, given the money eventually goes to the county and not the city.

It reads in part, “this is dangerous information to share with the delegation or the chamber since they will conclude there is no urgency to our situation….It would be better if we didn’t have to share cash flows but if we did, I’d use the one that excludes county and water board revenues.”

“The recommendation at the end is let’s not tell the truth to folks in state government,” Commisso said. “You know again rather insulting to those folks at state division of the budget, our legislative delegation and of high concern, I think to folks here in the city of Albany.”

Mayor Kathy Sheehan says she was never sent the email and never viewed it. She says Commisso’s claims are ridiculous.

“When we’re looking at our cash not all of that cash ultimately is going to end up in the city’s coffers, and so that was one of the points she was trying to make there,” Mayor Sheehan said. “Ultimately, as I said, we went forward with our cash flow analysis and provided everything to the state. This is not a whistleblower. Nobody has come forward and made any allegations.”

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