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Business owner asks for grand jury to convene ADVERTISEMENT

Business owner asks for grand jury to convene

SCHUYLER COUNTY--County District Attorney Joseph Fazzary received a letter Monday, Sept. 8 in regards to investigating issues related to Crestwood's proposed liquid petroleum gas storage project in the town of Reading. The letter was written by Justin Boyette, co-owner of Hector Wine Company, who also presented the letter to the Schuyler County Legislature during their regular meeting Monday.
Fazzary said he is not inclined to convene a grand jury to investigate Crestwood.
"I received the letter [Monday]," Fazzary said. "Because I know Mr. Boyette I actually sent him a Facebook message back telling him I was not inclined to impanel a grand jury. A grand jury is impaneled to consider evidence and he basically requested that I impanel a grand jury to find evidence. [...] That's not really what the purpose of a grand jury is. The grand jury hears evidence then makes a determination if someone should be charged or if there is official misconduct."
Boyette's letter requested the grand jury investigate the relationships between Schuyler County and town of Reading officials with Crestwood and Inergy. It also suggested looking at any possibility of "undue influence" on local or state officials by the company, "illegal coercion" of U.S. Salt employees to politically support the project under threat of dismissal. The letter also requested the grand jury investigate any conflicts of interest between county and town officials and their dealings with Inergy and Crestwood, along with the relationship between the Schuyler County Partnership for Economic Development (SCOPED) and the approval process for the project.
Fazzary said he does not plan to take any action regarding the request.
In other business:
• The legislature discussed conducting live streaming their legislative meetings after a recommendation by Legislator Phil Barnes. The legislature agreed to talk with their technology director and discuss what costs will be associated with this during committee meetings.
• The legislature passed a resolution to hire a Russian translator service to assist new clients with the Department of Social Services. The vote passed five to two, with Legislators Van Harp and James Howell, who were upset with the costs associated with the translator. The translator is set to make $125 an hour, not to exceed $2,000 a year.

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