Onondaga Co. DA Bill Fitzpatrick: No criminal charges for Democratic Elections Commissioner Dustin Czarny

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SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — No criminal charges will be filed against Onondaga County Democratic Elections Commissioner Dustin Czarny who performed work for ride-sharing services Uber and Lyft during regular County work hours.

Onondaga County District Attorney Bill Fitzpatrick said Thursday morning in a press briefing, “There’s just no thievery there, things that don’t look good aren’t crimes.”

The County Elections Commissioner is a 35 hour a week job, and Fitzpatrick says the politically appointed position does not require anyone in this job to punch a time clock.

The DA says Czarny often exceeded 35 hours of work per week.

He adds there’s no evidence that Czarny didn’t successfully do his job.

Fitzpatrick stated that the rides that Czarny provided were late in the day and typically on Czarny’s way home.

Over a nearly three year period, it’s estimated that Czarny performed nearly 15 hours of ride-sharing work during hours the County Board of Elections was open to the public.

The DA said that Czarny was cooperative with the investigation.

Fitzpatrick says his office is also not requesting Czarny pay any restitution to the County.

Statement from Onondaga County comptroller Matthew Beadnell:

All of the information related to this matter was referred to the District Attorney’s Office at his request. We honor and respect the decision he reached in this matter

Onondaga County Comptroller Matthew J. Beadnell

Statement from Dustin Czarny’s Facebook page:

I have maintained throughout this process that I did not do anything wrong and that Mr. Beadnell was mistaken in both his reading of the law and analysis of the data. I am grateful to District Attorney Fitzpatrick and his team for doing this investigation and uncovering the truth. Mr. Beadnell’s gross exaggeration of the hours spent ridesharing, whether on purpose or through incompetence, was a direct result of him never truly investigating the matter. A simple interview with me could have cleared this up. Mr. Beadnell had this data for months yet chose not to follow proper audit rules. He held a press conference without releasing an audit report and making this false accusation. I pride myself on the time and energy I give to this office and it is one of the great honors of my life to work for the voters of Onondaga County. The unfortunate and perhaps deliberate timing of this has made preparing for one of the most difficult elections in New York State history even harder. I am happy to report the staff at the Onondaga County Board of Elections has rallied and we are diligently at work. I want to thank my wife Heather, my family, my attorney Ed Menkin and the many supporters who have reached out over these last six weeks.
I am sorry that my colleagues at the CNY Playhouse were mentioned but we are already working with professionals to clear up what we believe to be a paperwork error and I will not be commenting on that further.
For now I will be focused on the business of getting this Election underway. Early Voting starts in eight days and my office is going to be working round the clock to get this done.

Dustin Czarny’s Facebook page

Below is a log of hours that Czarny drove for ride-share services:

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