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What you need to know for 08/21/2017

4 on board seek to oust Wormuth

4 on board seek to oust Wormuth

Halfmoon Town Board members are trying to force town Supervisor Melinda Wormuth out of office.

Halfmoon Town Board members are trying to force town Supervisor Melinda Wormuth out of office.

Late Thursday evening, after Wormuth had appeared in federal and local court to face multiple felony charges, the board’s other four members, who had called on her to resign in late September, announced they’re petitioning the court for Wormuth’s removal. They’re pushing for her ouster based on the state’s Public Officers Law, which has a section allowing for an elected official to be removed from office based on misconduct.

“The decision is based upon not only the recent charges filed against the town supervisor, but also her failure to appear at meetings, her failure to attend to the daily business of the town of Halfmoon and the Town Board’s previously expressed concerns regarding her ineffective leadership,” the other board members said in a statement.

Wormuth, who last week started a 30-day leave of absence for an undisclosed medical issue, is accused of accepting money to use her office to lobby for mixed martial arts and of stealing about $6,000 from her political campaign.

Town Board member John Wasielewski, speaking on behalf of board members Craig Hayner, Paul Hotaling and Walter Polak Jr., noted in a new release that Wormuth already declined their initial call to resign. “Clearly, her actions prove that she has no intention of fulfilling her duties,” Wasielewski said. “We are acting in the best interests of the town.”

The announcement came shortly after Saratoga County Republican Committee Chairman John Herrick publicly urged the Town Board members to remove Wormuth from office if she wouldn’t resign.

The Town Board has already begun acting without Wormuth, as Hayner previously told The Daily Gazette that members of the board have stepped up their activities with the ongoing budget process.

The Halfmoon Republican Committee said in a news release that their slate of candidates this fall, including presumptive new supervisor Kevin Tollisen, and the current officials are all committed to protecting the town’s character. Committee Chairwoman Regina Parker, a longtime ally of Wormuth, said in a release, “Our Republican team had no knowledge or involvement in Ms. Wormuth’s alleged wrongdoings, and we are looking forward to giving town residents a fresh start in January.”

Earlier this year the committee endorsed Tollisen over Wormuth, who then dropped her bid to win the Republican nomination in a primary.

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