Oneida County Republican Chairman George Mitchell released a statement today asking Pamela Mandryck to step down. He says he's asking her to do so for the best interests of the Republican Party. But Mandryck says this is all about county politics and a dissatisfied Board of Elections staff member. Mitchell says although he respects Mandryck's work in the past he feels that he must take this step as he looks to the future. Mitchell says, "Despite the many years in which she has worked on behalf of the party and its precepts, we now find ourselves in a situation where issues within the board are causing concerns that can be best addressed through a change in leadership."
We reached out to Mitchell regarding what those specific issues were that he was referring to but he did not return our calls. Eyewitness News spoke with the Chairman of the Democratic Party who is not sure what the issues are that Mitchell is referring to. "This is something that shocks me but it doesn't surprise me," says Bill Barry. "There have been some rumbling by politicians and I don't know why." He says, "I'm perfectly happy with the job the Democratic Commissioner has done and working with the Republican Election Commissioner Pam Mandryck, I find her very dedicated to the job."
Eyewitness News received Mitchell's statement from a representative from Anthony Picente's office. After that was released, Mandryck issued this statement to Eyewitness News: "When one reads the entire press release, including its point of origin, it is more than interesting that the message was released by a member of the County Executive's staff...One can only deduce that the County Chairman is acquiescing to the demands of the County Executive....The County Executive is unhappy with the day-to-day operations of the board of elections based upon comments from a dissatisfied staff member at the board who has been relieved of some of her previous responsibility due to necessity. "
Mandryck says the law explicitly establishes the board of elections as a separate entity, to prevent elected officials from having any influence on the election process. Mandryck says this is not the first time episode of attempted manipulation and she says she's been "definitively advised that it will not be the last."