Despite Ball, Who Serves as Ranker of Corps Committee, Calling for Immediate Hearing on IBM, Chairman Brodsky Ignores Issue
As Ranker of the Assembly Committee on Corporations, Authorities and Commissions, Assemblyman Greg Ball (R, C, I – Patterson) called on committee Chair, Assemblyman Richard Brodsky, to hold a public hearing regarding the IBM layoffs and the company’s financial deals with the state. Ball went so far as to schedule and reserve potential times and places to hold a public hearing, either for this past Monday or Wednesday, however, did not hear back from Chairman Brodsky.
“IBM made a promise to New York taxpayers when they accepted millions from the state coffers and we need to make sure that this promise is kept. It is discouraging that numerous attempts to reach Chairman Brodsky on this issue and to hold a public hearing have been ignored. And now, many months and layoffs later, my efforts to shed light on the state’s dealings with IBM through the proper channels, by holding an open public hearing with this committee, are still being ignored,” said Ball. “If this isn’t a cover up through stonewalling, I don’t know what else to call it, because the Chairman refuses to even respond to my nonpartisan and repeated attempts to hold an official public hearing.”
Ball first went public on the IBM issue after constituents alerted him to the severity of the layoffs made by the company. For example, many employees were refused severance and health care packages, despite promises made by the company that these benefits would be kept when layoffs were made. Ball began working with Alliance at IBM, the employee union, and began independently investigating the state’s financial dealings with the corporation. After learning that the state was pumping hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars into IBM despite the layoffs, Ball called on Assemblyman Brodsky to hold an immediate public hearing.
Ball even organized and attended rallies and press conferences outside IBM facilities to bring light to these financial dealings and the terms of the layoffs. Behind the scenes, he continued reaching out to Mr. Brodsky’s office in hopes that the chairman of the pertinent committee would call for a hearing to protect his own constituents. Yet, repeated calls and correspondence to his office have gone unanswered and no correspondence has taken place, other than letters sent by Ball’s office.
In fact, in a letter dated earlier this month, Ball personally wrote to the Chairman explaining the importance of conducting such a hearing and detailing how his office has already taken the time to schedule and reserve a selection of dates, times and locations as to best accommodate the Chairman’s schedule.
“Residents of the Hudson Valley and current and past employees of IBM should know that I will continue pressing the Chairman to hold a public hearing while independently shedding light on the apparent backroom deal making,” said Ball.