Schenectady County

Schenectady mayor still without next top cop

Mayor Gary McCarthy is holding fast to a residency requirement for the new police chief with less th

Mayor Gary McCarthy is holding fast to a residency requirement for the new police chief with less than two months remaining in Mark Chaires’ tenure and the three assistant chiefs that could replace him still living outside the city.

Neither Brian Kilcullen, Patrick Leguire or Michael Seber live in Schenectady, which is a sticking point for McCarthy. The mayor said it’s important for the next police chief to show a commitment to the city through a willingness to take up residency.

“You’ve got to take pride in the city if we’re going to do some of these things that we’ve been talking about doing,” McCarthy said Friday.

McCarthy said there is still no front-runner for the position and all three candidates are being given the same consideration. All three achieved the same overall score on a civil service exam given for the position in March, with the requirement that it could only be taken by a candidate with at least two years of experience as an assistant police chief in Schenectady.

Kilcullen had the best score on the actual exam, landing one point better than his fellow assistant chiefs, but Leguire and Seber each received an additional point in credits to bring their score to the same 85 Kilcullen managed.

The exam was given only weeks after the two-year anniversary of Leguire’s promotion to head the department’s field services bureau. Kilcullen was appointed assistant chief to head the investigative division in October 2008, while Seber has remained at the rank for more than a decade.

The 2013 budget lists the chief’s salary at $132,968, about $4,000 more than Chaires was due to earn this year. The salary would provide Leguire, who is slated to earn about $120,775, with the greatest boost in pay, but McCarthy’s proposed budget also provides for a $5,000 increase to the salary for the field services bureau’s assistant chief.

Kilcullen, who earns an annual salary of $124,794, would also get a modest raise if elevated to the chief’s position. His position as assistant chief for investigations is also due a roughly $5,000 increase in the 2013 budget.

Seber, who earns $125,054, would get the smallest raise of the three if promoted to chief. McCarthy’s budget includes roughly a $4,000 raise for Seber’s position as assistant chief for the support services bureau.

“At this point, I’m looking to talk to all three of those individuals, see what their thoughts are and go from there,” he said.

Members of the City Council could take up police funding during their review of the budget Wednesday. McCarthy said, however, the discussion could be postponed for another week until Kilcullen returns to work after having elective surgery last month.

Meanwhile, Chaires said his target date to leave the department is Nov. 17. He declined to discuss the mayor’s insistence on a residency requirement and said his replacement will ultimately be decided by McCarthy.

“That’s up to the mayor,” said Chaires, who lives in Scotia, “him and whatever the civil service law says.”

County spokesman Joe McQueen said the results of the civil service exam doesn’t legally back the city into choosing any of the three candidates. He said the city can interpret the results in any way it chooses.

“How they do that is up to them,” he said.

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