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Colonie employees appeal demotion

William Neeley and Thomas Romano, two Town of Colonie employees that were demoted last month due to their involvement with a controversial paving job at the West Albany Rod and Gun Club, have filed separate appeals against the town's decision to demote them, as well as their findings of guilt, and decision to create a harsher penalty than the one recommended by a hearing officer.

According to United Public Service Employees Union Regional Coordinator Kathy Wright, who is representing the employees, the separate but identical appeals were filed Friday and are not expected to be replied on until at least the end of January due to the holidays.

Last month, Neeley, formerly the town's public works operations supervisor, was demoted to senior civil engineering technician. With his demotion came a $13,176 pay cut. Romano, formerly a highway maintenance supervisor, was demoted to civil engineering technician. With his demotion came a $9,804 pay cut.

The hearings of the men were heard by Bethlehem Hearing Officer Paul Dwyer. At the conclusion of the hearings, Dwyer recommended each be placed on a 60-day suspension without pay.

The decision that was made by Supervisor Paula Mahan and the Town Board on Thursday, Dec. 4 to demote the individuals exceeds Dwyer's recommendation.

For more on this story, check back at www.spotlightnews.com, or read the Wednesday, Dec. 24 print edition of the Colonie Spotlight."

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