Emails reveal Preston campaign pushed some employees to volunteer

By Matt Porter

April 14, 2014 Updated Apr 14, 2014 at 11:35 PM EDT

Binghamton, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Leaked emails released by the Press and Sun Bulletin show deputy county executive Bijoy Datta pushed some county officials and employees to canvass for votes in Preston campaign.

Nine private emails published this weekend showed deputy county executive Bijoy Datta asking county employees for help canvassing for signatures in the 2012 Preston re-election campaign.

In one email, deputy executive Bijoy Datta said it would be 'mandatory' for some officers and employees to spend time collecting signatures for Preston's run for office.

Datta is now also the Broome County Republican Party Chairperson, he responded with a statement on the Broome GOP website.

"I made a mistake in two emails by using rhetoric that was too strong," part of the statement read. "It's not the smartest thing I've ever done, but it's hardly a headline news story."

New York State Election Law prohibits county employees from using their position of power to influence political decisions of other county employees.

Datta later told Action News he used his personal email account and the emails were of a personal nature.

He said he did not mean to imply the requests for volunteered time was required.

A statement released by the county executive's office called it a political matter and it would not be commenting on the story further.

Broome County Legislature's Minority leader Dan Reynolds told Action News the democratic party is working to uncover all of the information involved in the incident.

"It's not fair, it's not ethical, it's not the way the county government ought to work," Reynolds said.

The democrats met Monday evening to discuss how to move forward.

"I don't know whether it's the tip of the iceberg, I don't know what else is out there," said Reynolds. "But something has been uncovered, and what's been uncovered is disturbing, you know, the concrete violations of state law."