A press release from Albany Common Councilwoman Catherine Fahey:
The Seventh Ward Committee met without inviting all its members to endorse candidates for ward and citywide offices. One of the members left off the invitation list was the Seventh Ward Councilmember Cathy Fahey. The meeting was organized by ward chair Robert Jukes.
“I heard through the grapevine that the committee was meeting and showed up anyway,” Fahey stated. “When I pressed Mr. Jukes for an explanation, he replied that I wasn’t a team player, that if I ‘acted’ more like a committee member, he would have invited me.”
According to the rules of the Albany County Democratic Committee, ward committees operate under the same rules of notice as the county committee: meetings must be noticed by mail to committee members.
Committee people are elected as representatives to the county democratic committee from the local election districts. They collect signatures on petitions, just as elected officials do. If more than two people per election district collect signatures, then they appear on the ballot during the primary for a vote. If only two submit signatures, they become the committee people. If a vacancy occurs midway through, the county chair can fill the vacancy.
“This is an appalling disregard of election law, county rules and basic ethics. I serve as a committee member at the will of the Democratic voters in the 3rd election district, with whom I interact regularly on both party and city issues. Mr. Jukes has no authority to dismiss me as a committeeperson, no basis for ignoring the rules of the party and no right to disenfranchise the voters of my district,” said Fahey.
Ms. Fahey has petitioned Dan McCoy, Chair of the Albany County Democratic Committee, to set aside the vote from the committee and oversee a new vote.