GOP backs lawsuit against appointments

William Keniry, who is representing Ricket and serves as the GOP lawyer, said he will argue that the job description for commissioner of public works calls for a degree, and although the provision is listed after a clause related to "salary administration," it is "disrespectful to the people of the town" to hire someone who lacks the proper qualifications.

Ricket, a registered Independent, has had ties to Colonie since 1965 and has a degree from Fordham University. He served as a Naval intelligence officer and worked in state government, according to information from the GOP.

His lawsuit also contends that Cunningham was illegally appointed and, as such, was an "unconstitutional gift of public funds that should be recovered and returned to taxpayers."

The portion of Ricket's lawsuit dealing with Burick, says the he should have only been appointed to fill the remainder of Michael Foley's six-year term. Foley retired last year.

John Graziano Jr., chairman of the Albany County GOP, said it his party's obligation to check the administration's power, and that is why Republicans are supporting Ricket's lawsuit.

Graziano said he is unsure who will foot the bill for the attorney's fees, but he said ultimately the town should take responsibility for anything wasted during the process.

"The town is wrong here and should be responsible for legal fees," he said.

He said Ricket's characterization of the town "hit the nail on the head" and the administration is arrogant to assume they can "do what they want to do without anybody challenging them."

Magguilli criticized the lawsuit for not "applying the right sections of law," and said he is confident the town will prevail.

"I don't think it was very well thought out," Magguilli said.

He said provisions regarding the highway superintendent do not apply to Cunningham, since that position was eliminated by the prior administration. Cunningham's title is commissioner for the Department of Public Works, and the provisions of the town code governing the post do not prohibit him from living out of town.

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