A Syracuse mayoral candidate is calling out alleged pay-to-play politics in the city.
Laura Lavine spoke in front of City Hall Tuesday to push a ban on awarding development deals to people who paid money to campaigns in the city.
During her conference, Lavine, a Republican, attacked third-party candidate Ben Walsh, who ran Syracuse's Economic Development Office and SIDA for six years, by referencing $2 million found during a state comptroller's audit of the Syracuse Industrial Development Agency.
"They didn't do what they are supposed to do. The jobs that were supposed to be created and kept were not properly evaluated. There was no monitoring. When the state comptroller comes in and does an audit somebody should be listening to that," Levine said.
Walsh responded to the criticism, saying the $2 million was originally given to SIDA in the 1980s. The money was supposed to handed out by the agency as loans, but SIDA lost the ability to do that, which made using that money problematic.
He hopes the funds can be used by the city.
"The important thing is that we get it right and we don't try to react to a press release or anything other than what the facts are. That's my focus is determining what the facts are. The loan was given a long time ago, back in the 1980s, so the information isn't clear," said Walsh, who is running as an independent on the Reform and Upstate Jobs party lines.
If elected, Walsh said he would like to see one industrial development agency for both the city and the county, so they don't compete with one another.