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Committee Finds Harrison's Walsh Attack Ads Unfair

HARRISON, N.Y. – The Westchester County Fair Campaign Practices Committee deemed some of Harrison Mayor and Supervisor Joan Walsh's political campaign ads against former Mayor and Supervisor Stephen Malfitano "unfair" this week.

Malfitano, who is running for town board on Walsh's opponent Ron Belmont's ticket, submitted complaints on behalf of the Belmont Team that were analyzed in an Oct. 25 hearing.

"What I'm concerned about is what I've seen happen to this community over the last several years, and a tremendous amount of negativity," Malfitano said. "Some of the information that has been disseminated of late has been misstatement of fact. These are things that need to be addressed."

The study pointed out that Walsh's palm card said that she was working to "pay down the Malfitano debt" by "ending the Malfitano spending spree."

The committee found the statement to be unfair, citing that Malfitano was only one of five votes to determine spending while in office. One of which, the study said, was Councilman Pat Vetere, who appears on Walsh's ticket for town board and often voted in favor of the expenses.

In her defense, Walsh said that much of Harrison's debt came from Malfitano's administration undertaking too many costly projects including a new pool and senior center in West Harrison.

Walsh's use of the word "gimmick" when describing Malfitano's initiatives was also deemed unfair, to which Walsh apologized for and acknowledged the negative impact of the word.

Some of Walsh's statements, however, were found to be fair by the report.

Quotes run from the New York State Comptroller's Audit said the town relied on one-time revenues from the sale of "properties to finance recurring expenses," and officials presented "unrealistic and structurally imbalanced budgets to the town's taxpayers." The committee deemed the statements accurate and fair.

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