Iraq war veteran Daniel V. Roth, a member of the Air National Guard, will take over the Montgomery County Veterans Services Agency as its director starting May 12.
A private business contractor who was elected last year to represent the 2nd Ward on Amsterdam’s Common Council, Roth was among about a dozen people who applied for the position to replace former Director William Mullarkey, who resigned for health reasons.
“It’s an honor and a privilege,” the 24-year-old Roth said Wednesday.
The county’s Board of Supervisors reviewed applications from several veterans during the past month and whittled the list down to six and then two potential candidates, supervisors’ board Chairman Vito Greco said.
Greco, who described Roth as “energetic and aggressive,” said his insight into the life of modern-day veterans should enable the county office to reach out to veterans of all ages. “I think he’ll do very well,” Greco said.
County supervisors’ resolution provides for a $35,000 salary.
Greco said interim Veterans Services Agency Director Dwight Thompson, who took over the department in early April while a search ensued, will stay on to assist in the transition.
Roth is taking over the department, charged with helping veterans coordinate benefits and providing transportation to the Stratton VA Medical Center in Albany, following recent complaints by veterans using the service.
Earlier this year, veterans complained they were being mistreated by a secretary in the county’s Veterans Services Agency office. Veterans alleged their private medical information was being demanded in order to schedule rides to the Stratton VA Medical Center.
Roth said he plans to employ his military training in security and logistics to ensure veterans are treated fairly and obtain all services made available to them.
“I’m going to try to see if we can effectively smooth it out,” Roth said.
Greco said he has not heard any complaints from veterans since they attended a county Board of Supervisors meeting last month to voice their concerns.
Greco said he is confident the county did not violate any laws regarding medical information and a subsequent review of the situation has cleared up any misunderstanding.
“Everything that we’re doing right now is done appropriately,” Greco said.
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Categories: Schenectady County