GOP backs lawsuit against appointments

Colonie officials are calling a Republican-backed lawsuit that calls into question the appointment of two town officials a waste of tax dollars.

Colonie resident Theodore Ricket, backed by the GOP, has brought a suit against the town requesting Jack Cunningham be removed as head of public works and Michael Burick's appointment as personnel officer be reviewed. In his lawsuit, Ricket contends Cunningham does not meet minimum qualifications for his job and Burick should have only been appointed to fill the remainder of his predecessor's term.

Town Attorney Mike Magguilli called the filing an obstructionist lawsuit, and said it is a distraction drummed up by Republicans to divert attention from the real issues facing the town, such as the deficit left over from the previous administration.

Ricket filed a petition with the New York State Supreme Court on Wednesday, March 17, requesting the appointments of Cunningham and Burick be revoked as pursuant to Article 78 of the Civil Practice Law and Rules.

"Cunningham does not meet the minimum qualifications, due to his lack of a bachelor's degree in civil engineering and a professional engineering license as recognized by New York State," Ricket stated in the lawsuit.

He said state law legally prohibits Cunningham from providing engineering reviews, which are outined in the commissioner of public works job description. Ricket said Cunningham should also be removed from the post on the grounds he does not live in Colonie.

"The arrogance of Supervisor [Paula] Mahan and the Town Board to appoint an unqualified individual to oversee the town's landfill, public drinking water and the safety of the general public on town roads appalls me," Ricket said. "I am extremely concerned for the safety of my family and neighbors and urge residents to demand the appointment of qualified individuals to our civil service positions."

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