By Josh Resnek
Councilor Mike Marchese (right) and Eric Demas, the city’s Chief Financial officer went back and forth for about 15 minutes as Marchese tried to find out how a $2,500 a year payment to Mayor Carlo DeMaria could have risen to $40,000 without anyone in a position of responsibility asking questions about it.
“How does $2,500 a year rise to $40,000 a year,” Marchese asked Demas.
“How is it that the mayor got this money out of the budget without the line item including his name on it,” Marchese asked.
Demas, who designs the budget and who is liable for its final configuration answered with an array of double-talk vignettes designed to throw off Marchese.
“Come on tell me. How does this happen? Who did this? Who is responsible? I’d like to know,” Marchese asked the poker faced Demas.
The humorless Demas responded that he isn’t a lawyer and is not qualified to give such an answer.
“You’ll have to ask a lawyer,” he suggested to Marchese.
After the meeting, Marchese was interviewed by the Leader Herald.
“The mayor stole the money. Just like Fred Capone says. It was a simple theft aided by others who work for him. We need to find out who gave the OK for the theft of $180,000. Law enforcement should be investigating this. This was a huge theft. The mayor knows it. Demas knows it. The city solicitor knows it. Where does this conspiracy end?” he asked.
Marchese said he believes the mayor will never pay back what he owes in a thousand years – “not unless he is forced by law enforcement to pay it back.”
“He didn’t take the money this year because he was told it was illegal to do so. This is the only reason the money hungry mayor would not take that money. That proves the $180,000 in payments to him were a fraud.
“I’m proud of this council cutting the fake longevity payment – but he never should have been receiving it in the first place. Why? Because it was illegal.”