County Clerk Kathleen Marchione is defending her decision last week to file retirement papers just a week before her Republican primary against state Sen. Roy McDonald,
Last Tuesday, Marchione filed paperwork with the state retirement system to retire as county clerk if she wins the primary or in November, when she will have the Conservative line even if she loses the primary. She said she did it in an effort to prevent Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, from being able to fill the clerk’s seat with a Democrat if she is elected to the Senate.
“My actions were governed exclusively by my concern that the Saratoga County Clerk’s office remain in Republican hands,” Marchione said in a statement issued Monday, three days before the 43rd Senate District primary.
Some supporters of McDonald have called the retirement filing a form of “double-dipping,” meaning it would allow Marchione to collect a pension from her 32 years in public office, as well as the $79,500 salary she could potentially be earning as a state senator.
Marchione currently earns $93,882 as county clerk, and would receive a significant percentage of that as pension if she retired.
Citing the potential for multiple income streams, or “double-dipping,” state Independence Party Chairman Frank MacKay, who is supporting McDonald, called for Marchione to withdraw from the race.
Marchione said filing for retirement now would allow for a special election for county clerk to be held Nov. 6 if she moved to the Senate, “virtually guaranteeing that the seat remains in Republican hands.” If the paperwork were submitted after Sept. 20, the governor would be able to appoint a new county clerk until a special election can be held in November 2013.
If she is elected to the Senate, Marchione said she plans to donate either her legislative salary or her pension to not-for-profit charities.
“It was never my intention to ‘double-dip’ from the taxpayers, and Roy McDonald’s staff should be ashamed of themselves for suggesting as much,” she said.
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Categories: Schenectady County