The town of Sidney's plan to move a Sufi cemetery and the two bodies buried there splashed into the national news cycle in September. Two months later, the scandal is expanding to include the town's finances.
The Sufi community in question, Osmanlı Nakş-ı'bendi Hakkani Dergahı, and its supporters have found themselves leading an attack on town supervisor Bob McCarthy that is about much more than the Muslim graveyard. (Their petition to impeach McCarthy has 304 signatures.)
Members of the Dergah have attended every town meeting over the past few months. (In a show of web-savvy, the Dergah has recorded each of these meetings on video -- you can see all of them on the group's Vimeo page.) In doing so, they've become quasi-experts on the town's precarious budget situation.
At the November 4th meeting, the Dergah's spokesman, Hans Hass, peppered McCarthy with questions over budget and record-keeping improprieties, and eventually gave up, saying (around minute 47), "I think it's obvious you don't know what you're doing, Bob," to laughter and applause. A few minutes later, Hass asked McCarthy how much money is in one of the town's accounts. "That's none of your business," McCarthy answered.
The next day, Hass penned a letter to the New York Attorney General in which he outlined a suite of allegations against the town, ranging from McCarthy's lack of transparency to a big pile of potentially missing money: 11.5.2010.letter.to.NYS.AG
Bringing in the state officials could be the turning point in this drama. Andrew Reinbach, who first broke the scandal on the Huffington Post, has a round-up of the controversy's latest developments. His take is that now that the AG is involved, the fall of McCarthy is inevitable:
If and when the state does move, the Sidney drama will move to a more serious plane. The state's mill grinds slow, but exceeding fine. And set in motion, it often keeps in motion. Looked at from a military perspective, the hub-bub in town can be considered a strong demonstration across Mr. McCarthy's front, while the main, flanking attack comes from Albany -- where the big guns are.