SCHENECTADY — City Councilman Ed Kosiur has announced he’s resigning both his city and county slots.
Kosiur will step down from his City Council seat as well as his position as Assistant to the Commissioner of Social Services for Youth Development on Jan. 23.
The move caps 30 years of government service.
“As I recover from my second knee replacement operation, I look forward to continuing to volunteer in the community and also to enjoy my retirement years with my wife, children, and grandchildren,” Kosiur said. “It has been an honor to serve this community.”
Kosiur’s exit sets up a second vacancy on the City Council in as many weeks after city Councilwoman Leesa Perazzo announced plans to resign her post.
And it’s an about-face for Kosiur, who denied plans to retire when asked by The Daily Gazette last month, contending he filed paperwork with the state Comptroller’s Office simply to check in on the numbers.
“I intend to keep working until I am 68,” Kosiur said on Nov. 13. “Three more years!”
Kosiur drew a $95,747 annual salary for his county position.
Three additional lawmakers on the all-Democratic body — City Council President John Mootooveren and Councilwomen Marion Porterfield and Karen Zalewski-Wildzunas — are up for re-election in 2021, setting up what’s sure to be a spirited primary cycle next spring.
Kosiur’s retirement also follows a pair of civil lawsuits filed in state Supreme Court in Buffalo in August by two people who accused the lawmaker of sexually molesting them in the 1970s.
Kosiur, 64, who is from the Buffalo area, would have been between 18 and 20 at the time.
His lawyer dismissed the claims as a “money grab,” contending Kosiur is innocent.
Kosiur won re-election to the City Council in 2019 and served as City Council president until early January. He also previously served on the Schenectady City School District Board of Education and as vice chair of the county Legislature.
In office, he has championed youth and senior citizen programming. Most recently, the lawmaker fought to have funding for speed cameras in school zones reinstated in the 2021 budget.
Kosiur on Tuesday touted those efforts, as well as his work to revamp the Schenectady Metroplex Development Authority and negotiating county takeover of vehicle maintenance for the city, resulting in $700,000 in annual cost savings.
He attributed broader economic recovery in the city and county over the past two decades, including development of Mohawk Harbor and downtown revitalization, to Democratic leadership.
“When I ran for County Legislature in 2003, it was on a platform of Real Change, Right Now,” Kosiur said in a released statement. “I believe that we have delivered that real change and that we will continue to achieve Real Change in the future. Our city and our county have been revitalized and rejuvenated.”
Yet Kosiur has also garnered headlines for behavior that could be described as bullying.
Kosiur was cited for violating the city’s workplace violence policy in 2018 after shouting at a city worker.
But the city has kept exact details on the punishment under wraps, and the precise resolution remains unclear.
The Daily Gazette sought records outlining the resolution, but a memo by an outside law firm to the city dated April 8, 2018 was fully redacted by the city, which contended on Dec. 4 that those materials were exempt from disclosure because they were “inter-agency material and are not final determinations.”