Jerry Kaminski’s ethics investigation could lead to criminal charges

Councilman Jerry Kaminski, who sought the Democrat endorsement for reelection on Monday but was denied, is under investigation by the Town of Cheektowaga’s Ethics Board. They are investigating conflict of interest allegations that shed light into the town’s longstanding culture of self dealing. The board hired an attorney who is currently conducting interviews with employees.

Kaminski owns a business that sells automotive parts. Upon his election to the Town Board, conflict of interests laws prevented him from continuing to conduct business with the Town.

It’s alleged that Kaminski instructed town procurement staff to purchase parts from one of two other retailers instead. A source familiar with the arrangement says that Kaminski had an agreement with those retailers to act as fronts — purchasing the parts through Kaminski’s firm but with their additional mark up.

Kaminski Board of Ethics Letter

Kwitzer Invoices

Kwitzer Invoices 2

Kwitzer Invoices 4

Kwitzer Invoices 3

From New York State’s Comptroller’s Office:

As a municipal officer or employee, your job by its very nature places you in a position of public trust. You are responsible for ensuring that public resources are used in the best interests of the public. You also have a duty to use the limited public resources available to you as effectively and efficiently as possible. When serving in your public capacity, the interests of your municipality must come before your own. In fact and appearance, your actions and interests must be above reproach. This brochure is intended to help you better understand New York State law as it pertains to conflicts of interest, and your responsibilities when your public and private interests conflict.

If you are an officer or employee of a municipality, the law applies to you, whether you are paid or unpaid, or a member of a municipal board, commission or agency. The term municipality encompasses almost every type of local government entity, including counties, cities (other than New York City), towns, villages, school districts, BOCES, fire districts, public libraries, town and county improvement districts, urban renewal agencies and industrial development agencies.

A contract includes any claim, account, demand against or agreement with a municipality – verbal or written, express or implied. Almost any business dealing you have with your municipality will involve a contract. Examples of contracts include purchase or sale agreements, construction agreements and service contracts, as well as vouchers for payment submitted to a municipality. A contract also includes the naming of a depository of public funds or the naming of an official newspaper of a municipality.

If you willfully enter into a contract in which you have a prohibited interest, the contract is null, void and unenforceable. If you willfully and knowingly violate the law by entering into a contract in which you have a prohibited interest, or by failing, when required, to disclose an interest in a contract, you may be guilty of a misdemeanor.

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4 comments

  1. This is very disturbing at the least. How can this man or his Business have any credibility at all? I would think if found guilty he must then step down as a Councilmen. I no longer have any faith in Mr Kaminski. Please step down for the sake of the Community Mr. Kaminski just step down. You’re a huge disappointment.

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  2. Let me start by saying I am not a Cheektowaga Resident nor politcally related to Mr. Kaminski. After reading the above and the comment I would like to leave my comment. As a business women for over 25 years there seems to be a misunderstanding of what goes on in the busness world. There is something called wholesale pricing and retail pricing. When a item is purchased from one busness to another it is usally sold at wholesale priceing. The business than usally sells it at retail or above pricing to its customers. That how we make money. What I see here is Kaminski Trucking sold a part to Kwitzers Collision Service at wholesale pricing and Kwitzers sold it to the Town at retail pricing as they are the ones doing business with the Town. The same with the plow invoice. Where does anyone see that Kaminski Trucking profited on the transaction is clearly not what the documentation states. Does anyone think that one business asks another “who are you buying this part for ” its a arms length transaction. Does anyone ask Tops Market distrabution center “are you going to allow corner stores to purchase groceries and sell them to their customers at a higher price” The answer is NO. Everyone is always quick to judge and convict on half truths. This man is a business man and a elected official who from what I’ve read is doing a great job as Counselman for the Town. So why have a investagation well its a re-election year. There must be some other dirt you can find on him and others that would be more blatant. This man’s integretly is being questioned; how dare anyone to question a business transaction that is daily practice everywhere. I urge the residents of the Town Of Cheektowaga to re-elect someone that has proven to be a good person and done a great job with the Town.

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  3. Fact of the matter with all these articles are bad accusations with no substantial evidence. Kaminski has been cleared of any and all wrongdoing.

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