Public officials back as laborers

Magguilli said both men are considered public officials based on court interpretations of the definition, as well as the state's. It says that if the job expresses any sovereign powers of the municipality, then the position is considered to be that of a public official.

"Any sort of denying permits or accepting permits," Magguilli said. "If it says that within the job description, they are considered to be a public official."

Even if Reardon had moved into Albany County, he still would not have been able to get his job back as a civil engineer, according to Magguilli, because Reardon is not a professional engineer, which is part of the original job description. Magguilli said that Reardon's position required him to be a professional engineer, and he only holds a civil engineering degree.

Colonie Republican Chairman John Graziano said that the town can change any of the residency requirements for positions in the town except for Cunningham's because the position is set forth in state law requiring Cunningham to be an engineer.

He also called the firing of Reardon and Torpey a "witch hunt."

"It's an absolute witch hunt," he said, pointing a finger at Supervisor Paula Mahan. "Why would she pick those two people to terminate?"

He also questioned why Mahan would not allow the two men to move back into the county. He said that many of the local labor unions have hired attorneys to fight these decisions.

"I do not know these people, and I feel very badly for these people," he said of both Reardon and Torpey. "They're being used in a political game to divert attention away from Cunningham."

Mahan said the town was only responding to a lawsuit that Colonie Republicans had filed. She said both Reardon and Torpey always had the option of moving into the county, but the town wanted to find them jobs quickly, for the time being, so they would be able to keep their insurance benefits.

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