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This one hurts.
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There are many skeletons in Joe's closet.
The taxpayers of Greece know who Christa Construction is. Christa Construction profited from a botched renovation venture valued at $119.5 million. In all, Christa Construction made over $5.3 million from the deal.
So why does all this matter? Ask Sen. Joe Robach and the Senate Republicans. Today, Robach was called out by his Democratic opponent Rick Dollinger in a press conference where Dollinger called on Robach to return the contributions he has received from Christa Construction.
From the press release:Democratic State Senate candidate Rick Dollinger today was joined by Greece taxpayers who slammed Robach and the Republicans, and demanded that these contributions be returned immediately.
Dollinger explained, “People can tell when someone is speaking out of both sides of their mouth, and that is exactly what Joe Robach and his Republican cronies are doing by taking this money and condoning this kind of unethical behavior. Robach and the Senate GOP must return this tainted money—particularly as our neighbors are working so hard to recoup these wasted funds.” Today’s event came days after citizens’ groups filed an audit request with Attorney General Andrew Cuomo’s office as part of their financial recuperation effort.
Christa was originally set to profit $3,999,400.00 for serving as contractor, but actually pocketed an additional $1,375,761.00.
So far, Christa Construction (through Christa Construction, LLC., Christa Development Corp. and David Christa) has donated more than $24,000 in recent years to the Senate Republican Campaign Committee (SRCC). An additional $50,300 was given to Senate Republicans, including $1,850 directly to Robach whose campaign coffers have been filled with $143,900 from the SRCC for this year’s election.
For the record, not a single contribution has been made by Christa Construction to Dollinger or the Senate Democrats.
So why is this important? Here is a company being accused of robbing taxpayers of their money and who are they giving to? The Senate Republicans. Other Republicans have been on the receiving end of contributions from Christa Construction as well, but obviously the impact on Greece makes for an interesting story in SD-56.
Democratic State Senate candidate Richard Dollinger demanded Thursday that his incumbent opponent Joseph Robach, R-Greece, and his Senate Republican colleagues return more than $74,000 in campaign contributions from Christa Construction, the construction manager of a botched $120 million capital renovations project at the Greece Central School District completed in 2005.
Dollinger's campaign said Robach received $1,850 in contributions from Christa over the past six years, while other GOP Senators received $48,450 and the Senate Republican Campaign Committee received $24,000.
"The message, it seems to me, is very clear," Dollinger said Thursday outside Longridge Elementary School in Greece. "Senate Republicans and Joe Robach need to give back this ill-gotten taxpayer money to the town of Greece and the taxpayers in this community."
According to auditors, the project was over budget and incomplete. Numerous aspects of the work were changed without proper Board of Education oversight.
Over the summer, the district was forced to temporarily close portions of 13 schools due to shoddy project-related work.
Christa was originally set to receive $4 million for the project but received an additional $1.4 million, Dollinger's campaign said. Christa officials could not be reached for comment.