County Legislature candidate under fire

Howard Shafer facing disciplinary charges at Selkirk Fire Department

— This situation touched off a number of emails about the injury and the use of salt at the firehouse that Therrien described as harassment but Shafer said were merely passionate about the issue of safety and the department’s policy on injuries. Therrien testified that on one occasion Shafer called Bethlehem Highway Superintendent Gregg Sagendorph at 6:30 a.m. on a Sunday morning to talk about salting at the station.

There was a meeting in April with Shafer regarding his behavior, said Therrien, but in his opinion the misconduct continued.

“It got to the point that I was done. It was at that point I suspended Mr. Shafer,” he said.

Shafer retorted that his chief was being unreasonable.

“Someone told me a long time ago that no good deed goes unpunished, and I think that’s my case,” he said.

Shafer was an Albany County legislator representing the 36th district covering the southern parts of Bethlehem until he was defeated by Richard Mendick in 2007. He was also previously a member of the Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk Board of Education and was the president of the Public Employees Federation in the early 1990s, which is also an elected office.

He’s running for the County Legislature seat again on the independently-formed Notice Our Priorities line, and is waging a write-in campaign for the Working Families Party line in tomorrow’s primary. He also hoped to primary on the Democratic line but there were issues with his nominating petition, he said.

Shafer will remain on suspension pending the outcome of the disciplinary action. Ciavardoni is expected to render an opinion to the Board of Commissioners around mid-October, and it will ultimately be up to the board to render a decision.

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