An alleged domestic violence incident has led Mayor Gary McCarthy to clearly state his discipline policy regarding city employees.
“If someone is convicted of a felony, I’m going to fire them,” he said.
He suspended firefighter Darren R. Marino immediately when he learned of his arrest on domestic violence charges. Marino will be terminated if he is convicted of a felony charge, the mayor said.
Marino, 43, of 2130 Ave. B, was charged Nov. 4 with third-degree criminal mischief and second-degree unlawful imprisonment, a felony. He is accused of damaging a woman’s property and keeping her in his house for a brief time when she wanted to leave.
McCarthy takes domestic violence very seriously. His career as an investigator for the Schenectady County District Attorney’s Office showed him how often domestic violence occurs in Schenectady, and he has spoken out against it. Under his administration, the city also now has policies to protect employees who are victims of domestic violence. Schenectady was the second city in the state to adopt the policy.
The policy allows workers to have unpaid time off when needed to pursue domestic violence claims in court. Victims must often miss work to meet with counselors, attorneys or judges. Then there’s the time missed due to injuries or mental trauma — it can easily surpass the average worker’s allotted sick days.
The policy also spells out ways to protect victims. They can ask for escorts to and from their car, or request parking spots near their office. They can also ask to be moved to a different office, among other remedies.
The policy does not ignore the possibility that some city workers could be abusers. All city workers who carry a firearm for work are now required to notify their supervisor if they are convicted of a domestic violence crime or served with an order of protection. Those who do not inform their supervisors will be disciplined, and police will be notified.
McCarthy declined to discuss Marino’s case until it is resolved in court.
Marino was hired in 2005, in a class made up mostly of firefighters’ sons. Marino is the son of retired firefighter Richard Marino.
Marino married his wife, Laura, in 2000, but it’s not clear whether she was the woman involved in the Nov. 4 incident.
Marino is a trained paramedic, as are all firefighters, and has been on the receiving side of a domestic violence incident. In 2006, Marino and another paramedic rushed to a wedding reception when a woman threw acid at the bride.
As he tried to care for the four victims burned by the acid, his latex gloves melted and his hands were burned. He didn’t realize he was hurt until he got to the hospital with the victims. His wife bandaged his hands while he spoke to The Daily Gazette later about the incident.