Knox supervisor candidate has history of financial mismanagement, records indicate

KNOX — The Republican candidate for supervisor in Knox, Kregg Grippo, has a history of professional and personal financial mismanagement, as reflected in dozens of legal documents obtained by The Enterprise through the office of the Schenectady County Clerk. 

These include tax delinquency lists, court judgments, and notices of action. Grippo has declined to comment on these documents, leaving significant gaps in detail regarding matters that are highly pertinent as Grippo seeks a position that would put him in charge of a $2.3 million municipal budget.

The most recent document is a summons from the New York State Supreme Court dated June 24, 2021, stemming from Grippo’s alleged failure to pay $2,828.57 owed to Ellis Hospital, in Schenectady, for services rendered between Dec. 22, 2017 to July 15, 2020. 

A Schenectady City Court judgment filed with the Schenectady County Clerk in 2011 shows that Grippo was ordered to pay $5,603.94 to National Grid.

Also in 2011, Grippo and his construction company, Grippo Construction and Remodeling, were ordered by the state Supreme Court to pay $70,000 to the Workers’ Compensation Board of the State of New York.

In 2008, Grippo and his construction company were ordered by the state Supreme Court to pay $1,941.85 to the Workers’ Compensation Board of the State of New York. 

Also in 2008, Grippo and his construction company were ordered by Schenectady City Court to pay $13,435.58 to Ford Motor Credit Company.

In 2007, Grippo was ordered by the Niskayuna Town Court to pay $710 to then-Scotia resident Peter Visco, who could not be located by The Enterprise for more details. 

Also in 2007, Grippo and his construction company were ordered by Schenectady County Court to pay $16,726.45 to the Schenectady County Department of Consumer Affairs and Weights and Measures. 

In 2006, action was commenced in the New York State Supreme Court in Schenectady County by J.P. Morgan Chase Bank against Grippo, Peter Grippo, Josephine Grippo (relations unknown), Blair Lumber Company, Ellis Hospital, and MRC Receivables Corp. “for the foreclosure of a mortgage bearing the date the 20th day of November, 2003 executed by KREGG GRIPPO … and PETER J GRIPPO … to secure the sum of $68,000…,” according to court records.

A 2009 document indicates that this matter was “discontinued without costs to either party as against the other and that the notice of pendency of this action … be marked canceled and discharged of record …”

Also in 2006, Grippo was ordered by Schenectady City Court to pay $849.63 to MRC Receivables Corp, a debt-collection agency.

Also in 2006, Grippo was ordered by the state Supreme Court to pay $3,598.60 to Ellis Hospital.

Grippo has also appeared on a number of tax delinquency lists in Schenectady County: Once in 2020, for $5,207.73 owed; once in 2019, for $6,023.46 owed; once in 2018, for $5,168.02 owed; and once in 2016, for $5,120.18 owed.

Grippo was also listed in tax delinquency records in 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013, and 2014, all of which were “redeemed,” according to each list.

A number of court documents involving Grippo cannot be viewed because they’re confidential. Most appear to be related to the judgments listed above.

Grippo’s construction business was the subject of negative reviews on the site Angi, formerly known as Angie’s list, where former clients of Grippo’s complained about financial impropriety and unprofessionalism.

 

Grippo’s response

The Enterprise began reviewing these documents at the same time it was looking into contentions that Grippo didn’t live in Knox, which, if true, would potentially have invalidated his candidacy. (The Albany County Sheriff’s Department told The Enterprise on Sept. 3 that Grippo does reside in Knox.)

All the records reviewed by The Enterprise gave Grippo’s address as being in Scotia (Schenectady County), including one filed as recently as this summer, after Grippo told the Albany County Board of Elections that he lives on Rock Road in Knox, in a residence that as of mid-August was unoccupied due to ongoing renovations, a man working on the property told The Enterprise. 

After The Enterprise made repeated, unsuccessful attempts to reach Grippo, he eventually agreed to sit down with the Hilltown reporter to answer questions about his financial troubles and to address the residency issue, but he backed out this week.

On Friday, the Albany County Sheriff’s Department notified the Enterprise Hilltown reporter responsible for this story that Grippo had filed a harassment complaint against the reporter. Deputy Wilber, who refused to give his first name, told The Enterprise that Grippo said the Hilltown reporter had shown up to Grippo’s Knox residence several times and was making unsolicited contact without a stated reason. 

The Hilltowns reporter visited Grippo’s Knox home only once, on Aug. 10, in an attempt to clarify the residency issue, and all emails sent to Grippo about his residence and his legal history were straightforward and explicit. 

The Enterprise had also made pleas to Knox Supervisor Vasilios Lefkaditis, former Knox GOP Chairwoman Michelle Viola-Straight, and Albany County Republican Party Chairman Randy Bashwinger to encourage Grippo to respond to Enterprise inquiries, a few days after which Grippo made contact with The Enterprise for the first time, offering to meet and answer questions.

Grippo had not previously been involved in Knox town government.

Viola-Straight told The Enterprise that she was no longer affiliated with the Knox Republican Party and didn’t know Grippo.

Lefkaditis told The Enterprise that he could “confirm [Grippo] complies with residency requirements and he’s under no obligation to prove same to the Altamont Enterprise.” 

In a voicemail on Aug. 28, Grippo requested that The Enterprise call him the afternoon of Aug. 31, when he would return from vacation, to set up a date and time for an interview. The Enterprise did as Grippo asked, but was only able to leave a voicemail message. 

After The Enterprise tried calling later that week and was once again sent to voicemail, the reporter composed a follow-up email to Grippo, who replied within an hour, saying that he was “in the dark on you saying you’ve tried to reach me…” Of his residency, Grippo said, “I believe 100% that Vas had sent you an email in regards to that.”

“As far as a few of the other things that you’re looking answers to/not give 100% of the story,” Grippo wrote in his email, “I’ve reached out to my attorney on those matters to ask if you can contact him once I get a response from him I will forward you his email address.”

It was shortly after this email was received that The Enterprise received a call from the sheriff’s office. 

Grippo became the Republican candidate for supervisor after the original candidate, Viola-Straight, who works at a veteran-oriented not-for-profit, had to withdraw from the race due to the Hatch Act, which prevents those with ties to the executive branch of the federal government from seeking election to partisan office.

More Hilltowns News

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