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Probe into Whereabouts of Surplus County Computers

By Mark Scott

Buffalo, NY – An investigation into allegations of election law violations by former Erie County Executive candidate Paul Clark has now widened into County Hall.

Federal and county investigators want to know why hundreds of surplus county computers are missing from the Rath Building. It's alleged that some of those machines ended up in Clark's possession. But County Executive Joel Giambra says that not true. He says computers purchased by his campaign several years ago -- not county computers -- were lent to Clark.

"Andy Sedita (Giambra's Parks Commissioner) was called by the Clark campaign and was asked if they could borrow the computers," Giambra said. "There were ten or 12 computers from the Fred Flinstone era that were lent to the Clark campaign."

Still, County Attorney Laurence Rubin acknowledged Friday that a review by his office was not able to fully document what might have happened to some of the surplus county computers. He's asked the District Attorney and County Comptroller to conduct their own reviews.

Four county data processing employees have been subpoenaed to appear before a federal grand jury.