West Haven charges O'Brien $9,000 for campaign lit copies [New Haven Register, Conn.]
(New Haven Register (CT) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Oct. 21--WEST HAVEN -- The city's finance director has sent a $9,015.13 bill to Edward O'Brien's campaign, charging the Democratic mayoral nominee and his political action committees for campaign literature that Mayor John Picard has claimed was created on city copiers.
The charges total $7,285.13 for color and black-and-white copies, printed on one and two sides; and $1,730 for three printer hard drives seized by West Haven police as evidence in their investigation of the case. The letter from Finance Director Joseph Mancini says the bill is for "copies that were made for the benefit of your campaign utilizing city resources."
The letter states, "This bill is a preliminary estimate based upon our investigation to date. We have no evidence to contradict that this bill is due and owing."
The bill lists a digital video recorder as a "cost to be determined," but Mancini said police are likely to return the machine to the city so there would be no charge. O'Brien has denied he had anything to do with the copying or that he authorized it. Alan Olenick, the city information technology manager who was put on leave and later retired, was accused of making the copies. He was O'Brien's campaign manager, but has left that position.
If Olenick made the copies, "He did it on his own behalf; he didn't do it on my behalf," O'Brien said. "I don't know where the copies went. We spent so much on printing." He said the campaign spent more than $5,000 on copies, as well as creating copies in his campaign headquarters.
O'Brien challenged Picard in the Sept. 10 primary, winning by 13 votes after a recount.
Some of the times listed for the copying match the time stamp on City Hall video that showed Olenick entering City Hall after 5 p.m., punching out on the time clock and leaving with a large box. There is nothing in the video that shows Olenick using a copier or of any copies during that time.
The bill was sent to "O'Brien 13," in care of Robert Sagar, treasurer; "Team West Haven 2013," in care of Francis P. Withington; and to O'Brien at his home address on Platt Avenue.
The copy charges vary from 50 cents to $1.33 each, depending on whether they're color or black-and-white, one-sided or two-sided. Mancini said the 50-cent charge matches the city's charge for Freedom of Information requests and the others are "a blend from Kinko's and Staples" prices.
Deciding how much to charge is "part of the problem. How do you determine how much someone should pay for something when they take it and didn't ask?" Mancini said, adding, "I don't know how to verify" the true cost of the copies.
Kinko's, which is owned by FedEx Office, and Staples vary from the city's charges in some instances. The city charged $66.50 for 100 full-color two-sided copies, with Staples charging $97 and FedEx $158. For 22 one-sided black-and-white copies, the city charged $11. Staples would charge $2.20 and FedEx $3.30.
Call senior writer Ed Stannard at 203-789-5743. Have questions, feedback or ideas about our news coverage? Connect directly with the editors of the New Haven Register at AskTheRegister.com.
(c)2013 the New Haven Register (New Haven, Conn.)
Visit the New Haven Register (New Haven, Conn.) at www.nhregister.com
Distributed by MCT Information Services
[ Back To Technology News's Homepage ]