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were pushing their County taxburden up and over the top. WhatSpano, and now Mr. Astorino, in-tentionally avoided telling us wasabout the millions and millions o dollars that were being siphonedinto the hands o politically con-nected individuals; people who,when ound “Ineligible” by anhonest Social Services examiner,would whip out their cellphoneand call Diane Atkins who, inturn, would order the honest, dil-igent employee to make the un-lawul payment anyway.Te so-called State-imposed
adminis-tered through the Departmento Social Services include, (1)Emergency Assistance; (2) ChildCare; (3) Food Stamps; (4) Fos-ter Care, and, (5) Medicaid, all o which have provided ertile eldso opportunity, and continue to,or the raudulent passage o tax-payer-generated unds into
Diane Atkins &Company
casesinclude payment o Social Ser-vices unds, taxpayer dollars orsuch expenses as Con Ed bills toprevent turn-os, rent arrears toprevent evictions, and moving ex-penses within the State, generally regarded as
Open and Close cases.
O course, when Diane Atkins’niece wanted to move to SouthCarolina, somehow she becameeligible to receive some $4,000 inmoving expenses to do so.
at more than$1100 per month, per child, issupposed to be justied when theparent, requently single moms,demonstrate that they requirethat assistance in order to main-tain and perorm employmentthat is yielding at least $22,000but not more than $25,000 peryear. It’s a questionable ormula-tion at best, one that appears in-tended to enhance so-called
Wel-fare To Work
programs; but onewhich demands compliance withregulations, a standard Diane At-kins routinely violates.
are generally provided to amilies and singleindividuals whose income allsbelow, or near, the poverty level.In Westchester, particularly un-der the inuence o Diane At-kins, individuals will oen apply or ood stamps claiming to beearning $100 to perhaps $200per week. Tose same individu-als may then turn around andmake application or Child CareAssistance, claiming employmentbetween $22,000 and $25,000 (or$500 per week), trying to “haveit both ways,” and oen gettingaway with it.
is a vast area o public assistance subject to amultitude o raudulent schemes,requently involving
, doctors, dentists, nurses andhome health aides, as well as
such as pharmacies andhealth equipment providers, andeveryone in between. MedicaidFraud is so rampant that mostederal and state prosecutors’ o-ces have a separate MedicaidFraud unit.
generally in-volves home care in a amily set-ting provided to individuals rombirth to 21 years o age, or to thepoint o emancipation throughemployment and relocation.Generally, the opportunities orraud by those providing ostercare in contract with the Depart-ment o Social Services, involvealse claims or services and/orpurchases o equipment and sup-plies, all too oen acilitated by lax or intentionally ineectiveoversight and supervision.Te taxpayers o Westchesterhave every reason to be
with Department o SocialServices Commissioner KevinMahon, and his Deputy Commis-sioner, Diane Atkins, not to men-tion all o those co-conspirators,both inside o and outside o, theDepartment who have been en-riching themselves and their rela-tives and riends, literally stealingrom our “highest-in-the-Nation”property taxes. We are talkingabout larceny on a grand scale;not to mention its demoralizingimpact on the overwhelmingmajority o honest, hardworking,well-intentioned Social Servicesemployees who, having deter-mined that individuals are ineli-gible, have been ordered by At-kins to make payments anyway.It’s no wonder Andy Spanowas so desperate to be re-elected.Te word is Janet DiFiore pres-sured Rob Astorino not to replaceDiane Atkins. I so, DiFiore mustbe investigated and apprehendedby ederal prosecutors, togetherwith Andy Spano, Larry Schwartz,Kevin Mahon, Ken Jenkins, Di-ane Atkins and her entire troupo corrupt Social Services ofcialsand recipients. Te overwhelmingnumber o honest, hard-workingSocial Services employees mustbe vindicated and acknowledgedor their dedication and loyalty totheir mission and to the People o Westchester.Perhaps a combined taskorce rom the Ofces o State At-torney General Andrew Cuomoand State Comptroller TomasP. DiNapoli, working in conjunc-tion with the United States At-torney’s Ofce, can perorm thecomprehensive audit and assess-ment that will surely be neededto clean up many years o corrup-tion and thievery, and bring tojustice all those responsible.It’s disappointing to considerwhat we have seen thus ar romCounty Executive Rob Astorino,particularly with respect to thismatter. Attempts by
to interview Kevin Mahonand Diane Atkins were each metwith stubborn resistance and aphone call rom Donna Greeno the
, insisting thatwe submit our questions in writ-ing. Each time we reminded Ms.Green that Mahon and Atkinsworked or the taxpayers and notthe other way around; and, thatthe Press was entitled to a ace-to-ace interview when dealing withpublic ofcials.It would appear that Mr.Astorino may not really be incharge. Why else would he havele Kevin Mahon and Joe Stout atthe helm in the Departments o Social Services and Parks, respec-tvely. Surely he can’t be that naivewith respect to each o those op-erations.Certainly those who voted orhim had a reasonable expectationo change, a belie that the newCounty Executive would eel abreath o resh air, and new ideasor initiatives, should be orthcom-ing. Tat notion was reasonableollowing a tired 12-year regime.In light o what we are uncover-ing, it’s more than reasonable, it’scompelling.