Colonie workers face 60-day suspension

"Honestly we were not surprised that there was a finding. We've said from day one this has just been a political ram job," said Wright. "And we are going to do whatever we have to do to appeal this. We had expected that the entire process will work to the benefit of the town."

Neeley and Romano have also filed identical Supreme Court Section 78 lawsuits against the town, charging that the supervisor and town board acted in an illegal manner by disciplining them without having the power to do so, as they believe that only the supervisors in their respective departments have that power. They are seeking to have the disciplinary findings dismissed, as well as compensation for the pay they have lost. Those lawsuits are still pending, Wright said.

Dwyer's recommendations come less than a week after the Colonie Town Board acted to adopt a policy that would designate specific spots where spoils could be dumped.

In response to the newly enacted spoils policy, Wright said the employees did follow a protocol when determining where to deposit the materials.

"There was a process in place that our folks followed," said Wright. "It sounds like it was simply codified by the board."

In the new policy, if a designated dumping spot is not available, the spoils will be deposited on the land of a private landowner whose name is taken off a list of people who have filled out a request form, after being approved by all department supervisors involved.

While the new policy was enacted earlier this month, Wright said this is what the employees she is defending were doing all along, although she said there was no previous specific town policy on the dumping of spoils.

"Essentially, that's what happened in this case. It went to the designated spots, and this was what was left over," she said. "All [the board members] knew that the spoils were going to the Rod and Gun Club.""

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