Ex-clerk rejects city’s offer

Documents filed Monday in U.S. District Court reveal the city has offered fired city clerk Gary Marg
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Documents filed Monday in U.S. District Court reveal the city has offered fired city clerk Gary Margiotta $42,000 to settle his wrongful termination lawsuit.

Settlement rejected

To read the full legal document in which former Gloversville city clerk Gary Margiotta rejected a settlement offer from the city – including a copy of the city’s offer – click here.

The documents also state that Margiotta and his lawyer, Elmer Robert Keach III, rejected the proposal. Keach said Monday he and Margiotta both regard the offer as “an insult.”

City officials confirmed the settlement offer was approved by the Common Council during an executive session at its June 24 meeting.

The offer was mailed to Keach’s office June 25, the documents show.

Albany attorney Bryan J. Goldberger, one of the attorneys representing the city, declined comment Monday.

“Gary and I considered it for approximately three minutes and rejected it,” said Keach, adding he will not make a counter-offer.

“This is one of those cases that a guy like me was just born to take to trial,” Keach said.

Margiotta’s 16-year career with the city suddenly concluded Dec. 29, 2006, when Councilman-at-Large James Handy and Mayor Tim Hughes had him escorted out of City Hall by a police officer.

Handy and three other members of the Common Council admitted reaching the decision to fire Margiotta on the telephone. They have never explained their action publicly, not even to the council’s three other members.

Former minority leader Patrick Clear has said he believes there was a conspiracy among the majority and the truth has yet to emerge.

Margiotta filed suit a few months after his firing and has since moved back to his hometown near Rochester.

In his deposition in this case, Handy testified he was motivated to remove Margiotta because of three alleged acts of insubordination. One of the incidents, he testified, involved Handy’s brother, who was unable to obtain a marriage license one day in 2006 because Margiotta said he arrived after the 3 p.m. deadline. Handy said the insubordination occurred in a discussion he later had with Margiotta.

Clear has said he does not believe Handy’s explanation. Handy’s co-defendant, former councilman Lance Gundersen, posted a message on the city message board in September of last year attributing Margiotta’s firing to the clerk’s job performance.

Clear has also questioned Gundersen’s version.

Categories: Schenectady County

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