Shelby councilman violated nepotism policy in seeking raise for relative

Posted 17 October 2023 at 1:13 pm


This is in response to John Pratt’s allegations posted in the Orleans Hub. He states “I have been deeply disturbed.” If you were deeply disturbed as you say about “instances of women being verbally harassed, degraded, and disrespected by officials, both in the office and in public settings,” why did you not act as is required by law at the time it happened?

Your failure to act to protect the victim, and report the alleged crime, makes you a co-conspirator of your alleged claims of a crime. Why wait till one month before an election?

If you have been a witness to as you claim, “There have been evident breaches of ethics by both current and former leadership, all under the less than watchful eyes of the town’s legal advisors,” why have you not made it public before now? You have been an elected official for the past 4 years. You swore an oath to people of this town, yet it is evidently apparent you failed completely beyond any doubt to do your sworn duty.

Mr. Pratt, why did you violate the town nepotism policy not just once but three separate occasions? According to Town of Shelby meeting minutes, on Feb 15, 2022, you made a motion to give the town clerk (your sister-in-law), a pay raise of $17,000. Not only did you make a motion, you voted to give her a raise.

When that motion was defeated you made another motion at that same meeting to give her a $10,673. Again you voted to give her a raise. When that motion was voted down by the board, at the next meeting on March 10, you again made a motion to introduce resolution 43-22, a proposed $3,000 raise which you again voted in favor of.

You clearly violated the town nepotism policy by not only introducing raises for a close family member, but you also voted on the matter, when protocol clearly dictates you should have excused yourself from voting, let alone not introducing legislation benefiting a close relative.

Why are you so adamantly opposed to a Code of Ethics law which holds elected officials to a higher standard? With everything you are claiming is happening in the Town of Shelby, I as a taxpayer would think you would be the number one proponent of this law (which is required by New York State). However, for some unknown reason you are its number one opponent. Why is that? Is it so you can ensure a close relative benefits from your position on the Board?

Mr. Pratt you were elected to represent the taxpayers of the Town of Shelby. If as you claim, everything happened as you say, then you completely and utterly failed to do your sworn duty as an elected official of the Town of Shelby.

Considering your past inactions, violations of Town Policy, and complete failure to live up to your oath, how can the taxpayers trust your word when you have by your own lack of integrity and actions failed to protect the people you have sworn to serve?

Scott Wengewicz

Supervisor, Town of Shelby