Letter to the Editor: Most Putnam County Legislators Afraid to Stand Up to One of Their Own

There must be change on the Putnam County Legislature. I attended the July 6 full legislative meeting in order to speak about the importance of having a bipartisan, independent Charter Commission to review the charter. The current makeup of the commission consists only of county government employees and members of the legislature. It is inappropriate that the commission predominantly consists of the same people who will vote on it. That is what I had planned to say, but plans change.

I sat and watched Legislator Neal Sullivan be rude and condescend not only to his usual target, Legislator Nancy Montgomery, but also Legislator Sayegh, Chairwoman Addonizio, District Attorney Tendy and Sheriff Langley. This is the same legislator who recently called the esteemed Captain Tompkins of the Sherriff’s Department a mere “underling.”

At the meeting, Sullivan called our highest-ranking law enforcement officer “silly,” “ignorant,” “incapable of understanding” and clueless. During public comment, I confronted Legislator Sullivan, telling him to his face that he was condescending and inappropriate. His response was again to act condescendingly toward me. After public comment ended, Legislator Sullivan again invoked my name stating that he did not know why I had to say anything to him when he did not say anything about me.

And therein lies the difference between most of the legislators and myself; I speak up when I see a bully. Yet with all of his bullying and condescension, nobody save Legislator Montgomery, spoke out against him.

The problem with this legislature is not that it is filled with nine bad people; it’s filled with a couple of bad people and many who will not stand up to them. I do thank the two Republican legislators who spoke with me privately expressing their agreement with me.

When I am elected, I will always speak up and speak out against any wrongs that I see. I will make the workers of this county feel comfortable that if they witness a legislator committing a crime they can report it, write a ticket or make an arrest without fear of retribution. There must be change on the county legislature.

Scott Reing

Scott Reing is the Democratic candidate running for the District 7 seat on the Putnam County Legislature.


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