Brookhaven Republicans Thursday called on Democratic town supervisor candidate Brian Beedenbender to release his payroll records to justify his time off after 2 1/2 years as chief of staff to exiting town supervisor Mark Lesko.
“With less than three years in town government I question how he could accrue enough time to spend the next two months campaigning,” Brookhaven Republican chairman Jesse Garcia said. “Mr. Beedenbender has no regard for the taxpayer except to pay his way through his campaign.”
Beedenbender bristled at Garcia’s attack, saying that payroll officials say he has earned five weeks of unused vacation time “because I have taken very little time off.” He said the remaining five weeks of his leave through Election Day will be unpaid.
“I’m doing the right thing and it’s crazy I’m being called out for this,” Beedenbender said. “Only Jesse Garcia could take a moral act and turn it into an attack ad.”
Beedenbender added that Republican town board member Dan Panico, who worked in the county clerk’s office, and former GOP supervisor candidate Martin Haley, who worked for the town, remained on the public payroll while they campaigned for election.
Beedenbender said that he has earned 15 vacation days a year as a management employee and has only used 10 vacation days while working for the town, leaving him with 25 days in unused time. He added he is not using any personal or sick time.
Panico on Thursday reiterated his call that Beedenbender resign and be paid for his unused leave so that Republican Deputy Supervisor Kathy Walsh, who will replace Lesko temporarily, can hire her own chief of staff to help get through the preparation of a difficult 2013 budget, expected to be released just before Lesko leaves office next month.
Beedenbender said Walsh has not raised the issue with him but if she did, he would consider such a request.
Above: Brian Beedenbender