Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Former NYS Tax Chief In Hot Water Over Jobs

Insiders helping insiders:
A former state tax commissioner who was exposed last year for setting herself up in a state job telecommuting from her retirement home in South Carolina violated state law by setting herself and nine other attorneys up in tenured jobs, a state Inspector General's report found.

The report made public today by Inspector General Joseph Fisch concludes that Barbara Billet and others abused the state civil service system by ''tailoring civil service exams to fit favored applicants for tenured positions.''

Last June, the Times Union reported that Billet had been rehired to a part-time tax attorney's job from her home out of state. She was also working under an assumed name so that she would not draw attention.

Billet, 58, who retired from state service a month after the Times Union's article was published, was listed in a state directory as "Barbara Clarkstone." The name "Clarkstone" is apparently drawn from a combination of Billet's grandmothers' maiden names/
This is how business is done in Albany, and the level of corruption and graft extends to all levels, including on the Harriman state office campus. Billet claims that she didn't use the name Clarkstone to hide her employment status, but to avoid undermining the new Commissioner, Robert Menga. Of course, anyone who is working at this agency at this level would know who was involved.

Throw in the civil service exam angle and it just appears to be yet another attempt to double dip on the taxpayer dime.

It also sounds like another job for the Albany County District Attorney and/or State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo.

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