Councilwoman's residency questioned

By Julianne Peixoto

August 26, 2014 Updated Aug 27, 2014 at 4:47 PM EDT

Binghamton, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Republican Councilman John Matzo released a report given to him by a private investigator alleging Democrat Councilwoman Lea Webb does not live in her district.

"This is not a political issue," said Matzo. "This was brought to me by a private investigator feeling he is doing the right thing, and he said he's a concerned citizen."

The report was compiled by private investigator and former Binghamton police officer Dennis Redner.

One of the more incriminating pieces of evidence in the report is that Webb's electric meters were red tagged and shut off. But an Action News reporter was invited inside Webb's apartment Tuesday night, and all of the lights were on, there was running water, furniture, pictures and many other signs that show she lives in the apartment.

"These allegations, there’s no fact to them," said Webb. "I don't know what else to say."

Matzo claims "a source" told him Webb's electricity was turned off for three months, but she recently paid an overdue bill that reactivated the service. That information was never discussed during Matzo's press appearance earlier Tuesday.

The original residency question was sparked when Redner was hired to issue a subpoena to Webb in October.

Action News spoke to Redner, who said he was originally trying to track Webb down to serve her a subpoena.

In his report, Redner says he visited her address seven times and was never able to reach her.

"Someone not being able to reach me doesn’t constitute that you don’t live somewhere," said Webb. "So again, I live at the same place, I've lived there for a long time, I still live there."

Action News spoke with a resident of 17-19 Yager St., who said she has seen Webb once in the past six months.

Redner says he left cards at Webb's apartment requesting she call him back, but Webb denies ever receiving these requests.

Also in the report, Redner discovered Webb's name on a mailbox on Vestal Avenue.

Webb said it's where her mother lives, and she still receives mail to that address.

Now, Matzo is asking all of the Binghamton council members to prove where they live.

"I am calling all of City Council out to come up with some kind of proof where your home address is," said Matzo. "Do you live in the city of Binghamton? Do you live in your district? I wanna know, I wanna see it, I’ll come up with proof from it."