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Charges fly over missing files in Monticello

By Dan Hust
MONTICELLO — April 2, 2010 — The waning days of Village Manager Ray Nargizian’s tenure in Monticello have not been as quiet as might be expected, even with his use of allotted vacation days prior to his April 6 resignation.
On Monday, Nargizian came into his office, only to find files he had been keeping on an ongoing internal investigation had been taken.
That prompted his first visit to the police station next door.
Later in the day, he paid another visit to the station, alleging that Mayor Gordon Jenkins and Deputy Mayor TC Hutchins were “harassing and badgering” him.
Nargizian would not talk about the matter on Monday, upon advice, he said, from law enforcement.
But on Wednesday, Jenkins said there were no missing files, nor was Nargizian being harassed.
“We were just talking about issues in the village,” Jenkins related. “Ray has a problem when me and TC talk to him. He has no respect for us at all.”
The police report indicates Sgt. Mark Johnstone – working on the other side of the wall, where the station is located – heard a “loud discussion” between the parties.
Jenkins would not detail what issues were being discussed, and Hutchins could not be reached for comment.
Johnstone took no action on the matter, save to advise the trio not to talk to one another if they could not do it civilly, and the case is listed as closed.
The investigation into the missing files, however, is ongoing, and Sgt. Johnstone declined to discuss it further on Wednesday. (Police Chief Doug Solomon was out of the office this week, though the report indicates he’s been kept apprised of the situation.)
Rumors have swirled around the village that Jenkins and an entourage of his supporters entered Nargizian’s locked office without the manager’s permission and took files pertaining to a villagewide investigation into wrongdoing.
The police report, however, does not name any suspects, and Jenkins not only denied involvement but questioned whether any larceny had actually occurred.
“Why would I have to take any files?” he stated. “I’m the mayor – I don’t have to steal any files.”
Jenkins said he has not seen the files pertaining to that investigation and does not believe they have been removed from Nargizian’s office.
“He [Nargizian] wants to make a lot of turmoil,” the mayor alleged. “All he’s trying to do is make us look bad.
“... I’m happy he’s leaving,” concluded Jenkins, “because now I can do my job.”
Trustee Carmen Rue decried the mayor’s attitude and defended Nargizian, noting how hard he’s worked for a village that has especially benefitted from his pursuit of grants and other funding.
“Ray is an honest person,” she insisted yesterday. “He would never [falsely] accuse anybody.”
As for the files, she actually was more upset than worried.
“Every single record is at the DA’s [office], so who cares?” she remarked.

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