According to published reports, a chain of emails suggest Incumbent Assemblyman John Ceretto allocated government grants to areas in his district where it would be most beneficial to him. Reports also said he used his government office for campaign purposes. If true, Ceretto may have violated Public Officer Law.
That’s why Erie County Republican Party Chairman, Nick Langworthy is calling on Ceretto to resign. “His true colors shine in those emails,” said Langworthy. “Here you have someone that's abusing his privilege of serving the public. He's abusing the public's trust and doing it all to just promote himself.”
All this comes less than a month before the General Election. Ceretto, himself, is up for re-election and part of his campaign platform condemns public corruption. “He's flooded our airways with this and here we learn more and more about how John Ceretto has abused the public trust used his office to further his own political agenda and that of his staffers.”
Ceretto's Republican Challenger, Angelo Morinello is also calling for his resignation. “As he stated in his mailers, and in his TV commercial that he has zero tolerance for anyone who breaks the public trust and acts accordingly.”
None of the emails appear to have come directly from Ceretto. Instead, they were allegedly sent from Ceretto's political aide, Robert Nichols. In one case, Nichols wanted to make sure the Town of Wheatfield wasn't awarded any state dollars because he and Ceretto were given the cold shoulder by the town's republican supervisor during a public picnic. “Rob Nichols should be fired by John Ceretto today. And, if he's not, the Assembly leadership should take action and make sure he's terminated,” Langworthy added.
Niagara County Democratic Chair Nick Forster said any personnel matters should be up to Ceretto. He also said he hasn't read the emails. But, he say the allegations come from a disgruntled employee who was let go from Ceretto's office for her own misconduct. Forster said it's something he'd expect from someone “not happy with her former boss.”
7 Eyewitness News reached out to John Ceretto about these allegations. Regarding the funding, he said "I asked my staff members their opinions of how I should spend the funding. I also sent out letters to all the towns and cities in my district."
Ceretto says he does not conduct any campaign work out of his legislative office. He told us "I just reminded my staff recently that I won't stand for any campaign work being done out of the office or while I'm on state time. It won't be tolerated by me."
Ceretto claims that the person who released the chain of emails was "a disgruntled past employee." He told 7 Eyewitness News "she is playing politics with my opponent and this is pure politics. I call this crazy season."
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