Kingston, NY (December 21, 20090 - The New York State Attorney General’s Office has reached a settlement which has resulted in Lower Esopus River Watch, Inc. (LEWR) being dissolved and prohibited from operating as a nonprofit organization in the State of New York.
Further litigation by the New York State Attorney General’s Office, regarding this matter, is pending. As a result of this litigation $48,000 worth of equipment will be returned to the County and specified LEWR Directors have been ordered to satisfy outstanding debts. The lawsuit was filed in Ulster County Supreme Court on October 10, 2008 after an in-depth investigation by the New York State Attorney General’s Office Charities Bureau and following a forensic review of selected County Departments called for by then County Administrator Mike Hein. It was on the basis of this forensic review, plus additional issues raised in a report by then County Auditor, Lisa Cutten that the Ulster County Legislature voted on January 18, 2007 to seek the intervention of the New York State Attorney General’s Office.
“At the time the lawsuit was filed, I said that this action is a victory for the people of Ulster County and for those of us committed to reforming government. I also said it was my great hope that the action would result in the return of substantial assets that rightfully belonged to the people of Ulster County. Those hopes have been realized and now the taxpayers of Ulster County are the clear winners,” said Ulster County Executive Mike Hein. He added, “During my tenure as County Executive, my administration has continued this commitment to transparency and rooting out fraud and corruption wherever it exists.