<<Home Niagara Falls Reporter Archive>>

Water Board Counsel Is Expected
To Uphold Janese’s Residency Claims

By Tony Farina

The question is: Does Ted Janese III (above) really live in Niagara Falls?
The windows were not draped and it was obvious that the kitchen was empty as was every room visible. There was not even a kitchen table. Maybe Janese keeps the place so clean, he can eat off the floor?
From the outside of the vacant house where Ted Janese says he lives, one can see inside where fliers describing the house are on display for prospective buyers.
The house that Ted Janese claims he lives in is clearly vacant, is for sale and if truth be told, as of the date and time stamped on the picture, he does not live there in any real sense.
Not that it proves anything, but when our reporter went to the property, he found a lot of unclaimed mail in the mailbox.
The vacant house that Janese says he lives in is listed for sale by the well known realty firm Coldwell Banker/Talarico Real Estate.

Vice Chairman Renae Kimble’s bid to oust Niagara Falls Water Board Chairman Ted Janese III on residency grounds could be thwarted by a written opinion from the counsel to the board who tells the Reporter he has been supplied documents from Janese indicating he still resides at 8825 Point Avenue in Niagara Falls.

“I have received a copy of his federal tax return, driver’s license, voter registration information, and a current utility bill [for Point Avenue] in his name,” said Board Counsel John Ottaviano, adding all of the information has Point Avenue as Janese’s legal address. Ottaviano is expected to write a memo to the board this week with his opinion.

Kimble claims Janese, a member of the county Republican Executive Committee, has moved to 1145 Jarrett Drive in Lewiston, and a woman answering the door at the home said he does live there but has two residences. There is a for sale sign in front of the Point Avenue home where Janese says he lives and there is no visual evidence that anyone lives there.

Under the Water Board’s bylaws, three of the five members must be residents of Niagara Falls. Kimble has sent a letter to Ottaviano seeking to disqualify Janese, claiming he has moved to Lewiston and all his recent board votes should be invalidated, which would leave the board deadlocked on several recent votes including the appointment of Roger Lance to a $70,000 job. Lance is the husband of Wheatfield Legislator Kathryn Lance, also a Republican.

Ottaviano also told the Reporter he doesn’t believe there is a conflict of interest by Janese in his role as a part-time county attorney because that appointment is not made by the legislature (in which Roger Lance’s wife serves) but by the county attorney himself, Claude Joerg, another Republican.

Ottaviano conceded that the legislature does appoint the county attorney on an annual basis, but that the connection with Lance’s wife is indirect because she only has one vote and in his opinion that does not present a conflict of interest.

Reached Monday night, Kimble, a Democrat, said she has not yet completed her own investigation and was wondering how Ottaviano, a prominent Niagara County Republican himself, could issue an opinion without first getting additional information from her, the person who filed the original complaint.

Ottaviano said Monday he hasn’t heard anything more from Kimble.

We reported last week that some board members say they were lobbied hard by allies of State Sen. George Maziarz to give the appointment to Lance, the husband of the GOP legislator. Maziarz denied he put any pressure on board members to support Lance for the plum post of administrative director as did Henry Wojtaszek, another influential Republican figure with close ties to Maziarz.

With his recent election to a 10th term, for the first time Maziarz’ district will also include the city of Niagara Falls. Some political observers see the recent machinations at the Water Board as a clear sign that Maziarz would like to increase his political power by controlling the board.

(Ted Janese did not return multiple calls to his cell phone and office.)



Niagara Falls Reporter www.niagarafallsreporter.com

Dec 04 , 2012