Now we know why the THA fired them
It seems a lengthy investigation by THA Board Vice Chairman Jay Vandenburgh that there had been some questionable accounting by Meissner and part time Comptroller Roger Rosenthal, who was also fired.
For starters, Rosenthal has made a bunch of money, $185,503 since he retired in 2005 and $173,000 over the last three years alone. Everyone is entitled to earn a living but when you are collecting a pension you’re supposed to report that kind of income to the state.
According to the office of state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli, Rosenthal didn’t do that. Given it’s an election year and public pensions are a big part of the news now — not to mention it’s the right thing to do — we’re pretty sure DiNapoli will do something and will do it rather quickly.
As an aside, according to documents obtained by this paper, Meissner also paid himself more than $9,600 for compensatory time after he was named executive secretary. With that title, comes the classification of management confidential and as such he’s not eligible for things like comp time or overtime.
As far as the THA goes, what happens next is anyone’s guess.
We’re guessing that Meissner and Rosenthal will be looking for the THA to buy out the remainder of their contracts. In Meissner’s case, he had 20 months left and it’s worth about $150,000. We’re also guessing that since the board fired him for nonfeasance, they will fight it. According to his contract, Meissner has the right to bring it to an arbitrator and probably will. We certainly would if we were in his shoes. That's a lot of money.
Rosenthal claims he was working under a contract since December 2009. But an e-mail sent to Meissner by him in February 2010 obtained by this paper, he complains that he didn’t have a contract and never did have a contract.
One good thing for the THA is that it looks like the board is posed to hire Troy Comptroller Deborah Witkowski as its next comptroller, a hire Meissner resisted. It will be interesting to see what she finds when she gets a good look at the books.