EXCLUSIVE: Legislator claims run for office led to firing

Santabarbara was fired from Chazen one day after disclosing Assembly plans

Stone is on vacation until Monday, Feb. 27, according to Chazen staff, and an attempt to reach him by email was unsuccessful.

Ardman on Friday, Feb. 17, said Santabarbara’s firing “was a business decision that was made a long time ago and not just this Tuesday (Feb. 14).”

He declined to speak further.

“We are not going to comment on personnel issues,” Ardman said.

Gillet did not respond to a voicemail or email requesting comment on Stone’s alleged comment to Santabarbara, or the termination in general.

New York State is an “employment-at-will” state, so an employer generally may discharge an employee at any time for any reason. State Labor Law does prohibit an employer from firing an employee based on their political activities outside of work, which includes running for public office.

Job played a role in past bid

When Santabarbara, D-Rotterdam, ran against incumbent 105th District Assemblyman George Amedore, R-Rotterdam, in the 2010 election, he alleged Amedore threatened his job by telling his employer a political challenge would be bad for business.

Santabarbara released audio recordings mid-October of 2010 that he said proved Amedore had threatened his job at Chazen. Santabarbara said the recording was part of a conversation between him and Amedore on or around April 29 at Aperitivo Bistro in downtown Schenectady. Amedore was not aware the conversation was being recorded, and Santabarbara said he recorded the meeting to protect himself if he was fired.

In the tapes provided by Santabarbara, he discussed with Amedore what was said to Santabarbara's boss, Joe Lanaro, vice president of engineering services for Chazen.

In 2010, Amedore vehemently denied attempting to have Santabarbara fired from his job.

Now, Santabarbara said he doesn’t know if the incident played into the company’s decision to dismiss him, but he said, “It seems like it does.”

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ElizabethM 3 years, 11 months ago

I can't believe that this politician is crying again. He constantly appears in almost all of the Spotlight issues showing "concern" for this or that, now is is pretending that he is a victim. It is so typical of a politician to play the victim card. Mr. Santabarbara, millions of Americans have lost their jobs and you want us to believe that you are the only one suffering in this Obama economy where zero growth is the new norm? Please. At least you have a salary from your political job with the New York City democrats that run Schenectady County. Now go run for higher office and be the next do-nothing, smile-always Paul Tonko.


davidc 3 years, 11 months ago

Maybe it's because, as County residents learned.... when he ran for County Leg as a Republican, got elected, then immediately switch to Democrat... that he just can't be trusted.


Denise43 3 years, 11 months ago

Mr Santabarbara is the victim. It sounds like he did not just lose his job, but he was fired for his political status. Did you read the article? Shame on you Chazen! Corruption identified once again!


LaurieS 3 years, 11 months ago

All I know is that Mr. Santabarbara has NEVER voted to raise my taxes since he's been in office, I hope you get to the Assembly and do the same there, things like this only make us Stronger!!


PeterG 3 years, 11 months ago

I don't particularly like the guy...Haven't voted for him since he was a Republican and won't likely vote for him for Assembly. But, if he was fired because he decided he'd run for office, that is absolutely inexcusable and I hope he sues! Our government is only as good as those running for office and Chazen has done our State a great disservice by trying to eliminate an individual's right to run for office.


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