Jack Cunningham can no longer serve as commissioner of the Town of Colonie's Department of Public Works.
The State Of New York's Appellate Court ruled today that to hold the position as the commissioner of DPW, the person must be a resident of the town.
\Given the nature of this position - and the crucial role it plays providing essential services for the town - we conclude that the Commissioner of Public Works is a town officer who must be a town resident, the ruling said. "Since Cunningham has acknowledged that he was not a Town resident when he was appointed to this position, and does not intend to become one in the future, his appointment as Commissioner of Public Works does not comport with relevant state law and is invalid."
The court continued to say that it did not rule on Theodore W. Ricket's, the plaintiff in this case,argument that Cunningham could not hold the position because he is not a qualified engineer due to the ruling on the issue of his residency.
Colonie Republicans hailed the court's decisions as "a victory for the residents of Colonie" and that it upholds the idea of appointing those who are the most qualified for the job.
"It reinforces the importance of hiring the most qualified people to deliver important services to our town and reverses the Mahan [Supervisor Paula Mahan] administration's attempts to give away these critical jobs to political cronies," said Chairman John Graziano, Jr. "Supervisor Mahan has referred to this case as a 'frivolous lawsuit.' The court's ruling today highlights that it is the Mahan administration that has been frivolous in their approach to ensuring the health, safety and welfare of town residents."
The town does not plan to appeal the decision as Mahan said it does not want to spend anymore taxpayer's dollars.