R'dam board does legal shuffle

Liccardi mulling title change, will meet with board members

Rotterdam's new deputy attorney looks strangely familiar.

Joseph Liccardi, who served as Rotterdam's lone town attorney since Michael Godlewski's departure to the county last October, has been named deputy attorney after the Town Board hired Albany law firm Daniels and Porco last Wednesday, Feb. 9.

The vote, in what has become an expected result at Rotterdam Town Board meetings, went down 3-2, with board members Nicola DiLeva, Matt Martin and Wayne Calder voting for the firm and Supervisor Frank Del Gallo Deputy Supervisor Robert Godlewski voting against. The price tag for Daniels and Porco's services is $138,500 per year plus other fees.

Liccardi said at the meeting that he was troubled by what he called a demotion, and wanted to think about the arrangement before he considers staying with the town. The title change does not affect Liccardi's salary, benefits or term of appointment.

I'd like to discuss what it is I've done during the course of my duties to deserve this, Liccardi said after the resolution was brought forward by DiLeva and seconded by Martin. "What displeasure I've caused these board members as to how I've conducted myself."

The three who voted in favor had nothing bad to say about Liccardi's performance, however.

"This is no way a reflection of you or your performance," said Calder. "We just understand you need help."

DelGallo made an unsuccessful motion to table the resolution, citing concern not only over the assignment of Liccardi as deputy, but also over the fact that he had not interviewed members of or seen a contract of services for the new law firm.

"Anyone who is uncomfortable with this can vote no," said Calder.

DelGallo and Godlewski did, the latter citing a state comptroller's audit of the town last year that suggested the town put professional service contracts of $50,000 or more out to competitive bid. Godlewski also stated the town is paying more now for legal services than it has in recent memory, and the price tag has the capacity to rise with unforeseen fees.

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