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Odds & Ends

A sharp observer noted this oddity in a Buffalo News story last week about Alan Tomaski, who might go free despite having been convicted this year of the 2002 murder of a drug-dealing associate. Tomaski was indicted on a murder charge last year and found guilty of manslaughter this year—which is problematic, because the statute of limitations on a manslaughter charge had expired. The article, and Erie County District Attorney Frank A. Sedita III, suggest that may go free because his defense attorneys, Joel L. Daniels and Andrew C. LoTempio, failed to raise that issue at trial. If a judge rules that his counsel was therefore ineffective, Tomaski could be released and could not be charged again with the crime because of double jeopardy rules.

The article and Sedita both dwell on the failure of the defense attorneys in this fiasco. But it occurred to our keen observer that both Sedita and the Buffalo News reporter, Pat LaKamp, might have assigned the original sin to the prosecutor who sought a manslaughter conviction without considering the statute of limitations. The failure of LoTempio and Daniels seems secondary to that.

• The Buffalo Niagara Partnership released its annual agenda for Western New York this week. As ever, the agenda includes a program of decreases in government regulation and taxes while at the same time demanding government subsidies for projects the immediate beneficiaries of which are those private developers and enterprises who are still paying dues to the organization. This year’s ask is close to $250 million in state and federal money.

• The guilty plea taken by Tim Wanamaker, former director of strategic planning for the City of Buffalo, to misappropriation of public funds—he cops to $30,000, which means it was probably much more—is bound to be held against his former boss, Mayor Byron Brown. But in fairness, Wanamaker was a Tony Masiello hire, and the Brown administration kept him on at the behest of the Buffalo Niagara Partnership. It was never a very happy marriage, and Wanamaker was looking for a new job from the moment Brown took office.

On the other hand, the intimation that Wanamaker may cooperate with an ongoing federal investigation into the city’s misuse of HUD funds does not bode well for the administration.

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