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Town ordered to reinstate employees to old positions

John Reardon and Daniel Torpey to receive pay and benefits from previous job, according to court decision

— Two Town of Colonie employees that were demoted earlier may get their jobs back soon, according to recent New York State Supreme Court decision.

Daniel Torpey, a former fire inspector, and John Reardon, a former civil engineer, were let go from their positions in the town and accepted jobs as laborers back in April. The town did this as a result of an appellate court decision in March that ruled town employees must live within the town. The town then passed a resolution that changed the residency requirement from the commissioner of the Department of Public Works and the director of the William K. Sanford Library to extend to Albany County. Both Reardon and Torpey live outside of Albany County.

In New York State Supreme Court Justice Roger McDonough’s decision, he said the town acted outside of its authority.

“The respondents acted beyond their authority, arbitraily and caprciously and in violaton of lawful procedure and made a determination affected by error of law when they terminated the petinoner’s employment,” his decision said.

Town of Colonie Attorney Michael Magguilli said the town is not sure whether it will appeal the decision, but said it is reviewing the case and looking to see what options it has.

“We respectfully disagree with Judge [Roger] McDonough’s decision,” he said, adding that the town never wanted to relieve the two of their previous duties “We’re reviewing our options and whether we want to repeal. It’s not something we wanted to do in the first place. We felt constrained by the [Theodore] Ricket’s case to review the residencies of town employees.”

The town is being ordered by the court to reinstate Reardon and Torpey to their original positions in the town and pay them the difference in pay and benefits from their old positions they had lost dating back to April.

“I don’t think it’s going to be a significant number but I don’t know what the number is,” he said.

Check www.spotlightnews.com for more on this story as it develops.

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