Mootooveren says job status wasn’t accurate

Democrat lost bookkeeping job in summer

Friday, November 8, 2013
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Schenectady City Councilman-elect John Mootooveren is a part time manager at Matrix International Trading at 610 Michigan Avenue in Schenectady Friday.
Photographer: Peter R. Barber
Schenectady City Councilman-elect John Mootooveren is a part time manager at Matrix International Trading at 610 Michigan Avenue in Schenectady Friday.

— The top vote-getter in Tuesday’s City Council election kept one fact about himself hidden during the campaign.

Councilman-elect John Mootooveren told voters at forums he was employed by a company as an accountant. He said he couldn’t name the company because his employer didn’t want to get enmeshed in politics.

But he actually was working part-time as the manager of a West Indian produce distributor, he said when asked Thursday, two days after Democrats swept the City Council race.

Mootooveren’s last bookkeeping job was at Turner Construction, where he worked in the finance department. He is not a certified public accountant, he said Thursday.

Last summer, the company severed employment with him, according to the company.

Mootooveren signed a separation agreement that banned him from disclosing the details of the decision, he said. Company officials confirmed that.

“It’s not that I want to hide anything. Things happen, and we have to move on in life,” Mootooveren said.

But in the fall, he specifically told voters — and The Daily Gazette — he was employed at a large company as an accountant. On Thursday, he said his inaccurate description of his employment was not a big deal.

“It wouldn’t matter,” he said. “The message of my commitment to the people, that is what is important. That is what matters. My focus is getting the job done for the people in Schenectady.”

He is also looking for work, either in finance or computer programming, he said.

One of his running mates, Councilman Carl Erikson, said he had heard “rumors” of Mootooveren’s unemployment during the campaign. But he defended Mootooveren’s decision to not tell the public about it.

“If you’re running for a full-time political job, it’s all out there,” he said. “But for us? He has the right to do what he wants.”

Besides, he said, Mootooveren and Turner separated during the campaign.

“Is he obligated to call and say ‘Stop the presses?’ ” Erikson asked. “He might have been nervous — is that going to be a distraction? Is that going to hurt me?”

Republican candidate Joseph Lazzari, who came in fourth in the race for the three seats on the council, was stunned by the news Thursday.

“You’ve got to be kidding me,” he said, before adding he liked Mootooveren.

“I found him to be a very nice person. I thought he was honest,” Lazzari said. “What that guy did was not right. That’s almost like lying on a job application. If the Democrats had any integrity, they should remove him from that post.”

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November 9, 2013
6:34 a.m.
cidbil says...

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!......You're going to fit in very nicely John.....HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!

November 9, 2013
6:43 a.m.
wmarincic says...

He is a democrat, what did you expect. If you want to surprise me, tell me a democrat is telling the truth. You people made a huge mistake by not electing Joe Lazarri, a huge mistake.

November 9, 2013
7:14 a.m.
cpills says...

Councilman-elect John Mootoveren knowingly lied to the voting public and should not be allowed to take office. What he did is no different then lying on a job application and should be treated as such. I believe the Democratic Party that backed him were well aware his work status and encouraged him to remain silent on the issue. How is a person like this to be believed, he has shown that he is willing to deceive the public for his own personal gains. As a life-long resident of Schenectady, I am absolutely disgusted with Mr. Mootooveren's actions.

November 9, 2013
7:24 a.m.
cidbil says...

Pssst...(looks around to see if anyone is listening).......Hey do know that republicans lie too right?.......

November 9, 2013
8:37 a.m.
schdyres says...

Very sad as the outcome of the election would not have been different if he had been honest. The Gazette failed to followup after the debate and should have investigated and reported this prior to the election. Probably the reporter had the story and it was held by the editors. My comment raising these questions was posted at the end of the Gazette debate story and was then later pulled by the Gazette. Why?

Most importantly, Kathleen Moore's story remains incomplete----Other "facts" not investigated-- his age?? --and his "claimed" educational background?? Let's have the full story now!

Reporting on the election also was inadequate as she failed follow-up and ask the Republican candidate Kelleher about his stated support for some "Tea Party" positions.

Finally, Carl Erickson's comments are silly and disturbing!

November 9, 2013
1:14 p.m.
gina99 says...

Another Schenectady Democrat is caught lying-nothing new here. Democrat City Councilman Carl Erickson says it's okay to lie if the public post is only part time. The first place finisher for Schenectady City Council lied about his employment, employer, age and educational background. He should not be allowed to be sworn in and disqualified. And he is the only nonincumbent elected in the City. You get the government you deserve.

November 9, 2013
9:32 p.m.
cfield says...

Thank god I already moved out of Schenectady. Poor job on the Gazette in vetting this canidate or perhaps you did and didn't publish until after the election. Could one imagine if he is working under the table, and his wife utilizes an alias so they can collect welfare. Sloppy media coverage.

November 9, 2013
11:09 p.m.

This also reflects on whatever the county/city democratic committee's vetting process is. This is why we are shackled by the Type A Lady, and are cleaning up after Brucker's vapid antics.

November 11, 2013
10:48 a.m.
Niskyboy says...
(This comment was removed by the site staff.)
November 12, 2013
10:07 a.m.
hodgkins.t says...

Too bad we do not have the tools of a modern democracy, like recalls and referenda. Perhaps the bookkeeper can take up the cause to enact direct democratic functions into an anachronistic and ossified local political system.

November 12, 2013
12:15 p.m.
bsmaven says...

What's more amazing to me than the lies, is the lack of even awareness of how this is wrong. I hope Carl was quoted out of context, being nervous is an excuse for misleading people? Really? The lame brain reasoning behind these explanations is more worrisome than the actual act by the "accountant". I'm a Democrat and not happy.

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