Schenectady County Legislator Angelo Santabarbara is claiming his state Assembly aspirations have led to him being fired from his job.
The Chazen Companies on Tuesday, Feb. 14, fired Santabarbara, who has worked as a senior project manager and project engineer with the company for more than five years. It was one day after he informed his superiors in a letter of his intentions to run for a seat in the state Assembly.
According to Santabarbara, the construction consulting firm told him he was let go because his department was being restructured and his position eliminated, but Santabarbara said he believes his decision to run for office played a part in his sudden termination.
“I think it is important that people are not afraid to run for public office,” Santabarbara said. “I don’t think that’s right and I don’t think that’s fair.”
Upon arriving to the office on the afternoon of Tuesday, Feb. 14, Santabarbara said he was called into a room with Senior Principal Daniel Stone, Senior Director of Business Development David Ardman and Vice President of Human Resources Lauren Gillett.
“I sat down, and they said that this was about me running for office and I explained to them my intentions,” Santabarbara said on Thursday, Feb. 16. “Dan Stone, the owner, immediately said, or as soon as I was done … ‘running for office and you working here is not going to work.’ That is his exact words that I remember.”
According to Santabarbara’s account, Stone said, “We are going to have to part ways.” July would have marked Santabarbara’s six-year anniversary at Chazen.
Santabarbara said Gillet then said the reason for his termination was a restructuring of his department. Santabarbara said he was unaware of any restructuring efforts before the meeting at which he was fired.
“Clearly they didn’t have their stories straight … because I heard two different things,” Santabarbara said.