Michael T. Baldwin Reports. 9/14/21
Early this morning, Ron Staedt, submitted this letter of resignation ending his term as Alma Town Supervisor:
Letter of Resignation
September 14, 2021
Michelle Staedt, Town of Alma Clerk Town of Alma
PO Box 67, 5838 Allen Street
Allentown, NY 14707
To Mrs. Staedt, Town of Alma Clerk,
It is with a heavy heart that I pen this correspondence to you and all the constituents of the Town of Alma. I have served as Town of Alma Supervisor during what has proven to be one of the most tumultuous times in the history of the Town of Alma.
Shortly after assuming the position of Town Supervisor, it was brought to my attention that there may be unethical, and potentially illegal activities taking place within the inner workings of our Town Government. After consulting with Legal Counsel, appropriate actions began in order to eliminate or confirm those accusations. With the support of the majority of the Town Board at the time, we moved forward with an outside “Audit” and ultimately presented those findings, as well as other potentially illegal activities by Highway Personnel, to the local authorities (District Attorney of Allegany County) at the direction of the New York State Comptrollers’ Office and Town of Alma Legal Counsel.
This began my 3 ½ years of absolute torture as I attempted to best represent the interests of the citizens of the Town of Alma. Investigations began into the questionable activities of Town Highway Superintendent Daniel Ford, as well as other Town Highway employees.
It became readily apparent that there would be no assistance from the Allegany County District Attorney’s office in taking a serious look into the potential illegal activities that had been discovered. At the advice of Legal Counsel, again the Town Board moved forward with other avenues of Justice which led to investigations ensuing by the Attorney General’s Office of the State of New York (those investigations continue to this day as many more potential infractions have been discovered).
Over the next several years, problems were drastically compounded when the Highway Superintendent refused to follow the legal authority of the Town Board to remove Brian Trask from his “probationary” position at the Highway Department. “Alma Facts” was created on the social media propaganda machine commonly known as FACEBOOK by a group of citizens interested in only spinning a self-protectionist narrative, and the absolute blatant lies began to be presented as fact on a regular basis.
Over the next several years, any opinion or question that didn’t fit the narrative of the few in control of the propaganda site (all of whom were implicated in some fashion by investigations or lawsuits against the citizens of Alma) were quickly removed from view as we watched a “left-wing propaganda machine” spin out of control throughout Alma and into surrounding neighborhoods. Concerted efforts were made by those under investigation to sway public opinion and rally around those that may have been defrauding taxpayers.
Former Council members, that had been well-respected and long-standing citizens of Alma, found themselves the unrelenting victims of this liberal attack. Soon the masses began believing the lies, turning on those “friends” that had once been revered.
The “Alma Facts propaganda machine” was ultimately successful in convincing otherwise intelligent citizens of Alma that those of questionable integrity were in fact the “victims” of a rogue Supervisor hell bent on revenge. This led to the election of two new Council members that were hand-picked by those looking to protect themselves and who would further guarantee the proliferation of lies.
For several years now I have endured the always evolving investigations by the Attorney General’s office (which led to countless subpoenas being issues throughout Alma, Wellsville and other surrounding communities), ongoing and unrelenting Court proceedings, along with a constant disregard for the removal of Brian Trask from Town property, all coupled with an inability of the Town of Alma representatives to discuss ongoing litigations and investigations in public. This denied the citizens the opportunity to know the truths that continue to be protected under Executive Order Privilege and would obviously and certainly shed a different light on “truth”.
I have begged for Justice and assistance from the Allegany County District Attorney’s Office, the Allegany County Sheriff’s Office, the New York State Comptrollers Office, The Office of the Attorney General, and any other entity I could think of that could help us thru this debacle.
The Office of the Attorney General assures me that Justice will ultimately be served, but that “a town with 837 people is hardly the biggest priority of the Attorney General”. I am confident, based on their unrelenting investigation, my story may finally be told. I am confident that those who have wronged the citizens of Alma will be accused of their transgressions and will be afforded the opportunity to explain their actions or beg forgiveness.
I am confident that those who have participated in proliferating the unrelenting propaganda and lies to our constituents will lose their credibility. I am confident that those who tried to use their influence in County Government to help spin a narrative, will be held accountable at the ballot box.
It is with regret I must now end my fight.
I apologize to the silent few that have quietly supported me behind closed doors.
I apologize to my family, who has paid the ultimate sacrifice of public ridicule, constant harassment, death threats, and unspeakable acts of cowardliness against them because they are simply “my family”.
I apologize to my former Deputy Supervisor (Vincent Bock) who fought the fight until his fight flickered. He has always been a beacon of integrity, and his vast experiences and knowledge are greatly missed.
I apologize to Supervisor Shad Alsworth (Wellsville) one of the last men standing at my side, always willing to defend my actions, hold me accountable, and to stand on the right side of Justice. He may have had the purest intentions of all (to look out for his parents), and yet was unable to help his friends in our community to understand and recognize the truth.
I can no longer subject myself or my family to the malicious, self-serving collusion and dishonesty that is being forced upon the Citizens of Alma by the current Town Board. I submit my resignation effective September 14th at 7:30pm.
May God Bless all the citizens of Alma.