Dear Attorney General James:
I write to refer two matters to your attention and request that your Public Integrity Bureau examine them for misconduct. Michael Amo is a county legislator representing parts of the towns of Woodbury and Palm Tree; for over a decade, Mr. Amo has been a registered voter in the former Independence Party. In 2018, the Orange County Legislature amended its 1969 charter to grant Mr. Amo a stipend for leading his one person (himself) Independence Party caucus, a move that resulted in a nearly $7,000 pay increase.
Following the 2020 election, the Independence Party ceased to be a party in New York State. According to Section 1-104 of Election Law, a “party” is defined as any political organization that receives greater than 2% or 130,000 votes – whichever is higher – in a presidential or gubernatorial election. The Independence Party failed to meet this requirement and subsequently ceased to be a recognized party in New York State.
Local Law 4 that amended the Orange County charter refers to this section of law. Nevertheless, Mr. Amo continued to receive his taxpayer-funded stipend for serving as a “party leader” to a party that does not exist under the law.
Separately and additionally, it is widely known in the local community that Mr. Amo’s primary residence is no longer in the Town of Woodbury at his Summit Avenue address, a property that is currently for sale as evidenced by the enclosed photo. According to Article 2, Section 3 of the Public Officers Law, an elected official must be a resident of the political subdivision in which he or she serves.
On behalf of my constituents whose taxes pay for county legislator stipends – and who deserve proper, present representation – I respectfully request that your Public Integrity Bureau examine the aforementioned two matters for misconduct.
CC: New York State Board of Elections Enforcement Unit Hon. Katie Bonelli, Chair of the Orange County Legislature