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Employees accused of Rod and Gun Club scandal sue town

In the midst of a series of hearings to determine their involvement with a controversial paving job at the West Albany Rod and Gun Club, two town employees have decided to sue the Town of Colonie.

The lawsuits, filed identically by William Neeley and Thomas Romano, state that only their supervisor in the town's highway department should have the power to discipline them and not the town supervisor.

Colonie Town Attorney Michael Magguilli said the town intends to file a motion to dismiss the lawsuits.

Neeley is the town's public works operations supervisor and Romano is a highway maintenance supervisor.

Allegations of illegal activity at the West Albany Rod and Gun Club, on Willoughby Drive, were dispelled by an audit that was completed by state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli.

In the audit, the comptroller warned town officials that while the activities that occurred at the club did not appear to be illegal, they did involve a misappropriation of money, and actions that were taken not in the best interest of town residents.

On Wednesday, Aug. 20, and Thursday, Aug. 21, hearings were held to determine the disciplinary actions Neeley and Romano would face.

At the time, United Public Service Employees Union Regional Coordinator Kathy Wright had accused Town Supervisor Paula Mahan of political motivation in the charges against Neeley and Romano.

In an attempt to disprove Wright, the supervisor extended an offer to Neeley and Romano to have their hearings made public which neither took.

At the time, Wright said, In terms of past experiences we've had, we've never had an open door on a disciplinary action. The town should be very cautious about throwing out suggestions when it could come back and bite them."

Wright has also said that both Neeley and Romano were "long-term employees with spotless records," and that "they're being hung out to dry for something that was a big political piece for the supervisor to use to run for office."

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