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What you need to know for 08/18/2017

Replacement sought for Schenectady corporation counsel

Replacement sought for Schenectady corporation counsel

The city’s top lawyer has resigned to return to his private practice.

The city’s top lawyer has resigned to return to his private practice.

Corporation Counsel John Polster’s last day was Friday, city officials said.

He left without fanfare. Since then, Deputy Corporation Counsel Carl Falotico has been running the law department. For now, though, Falotico said he hasn’t been promoted or offered higher pay.

“When there’s a vacancy in the corporation counsel’s office, the deputy fulfills the duties,” he said.

Mayor Gary McCarthy said he would select a new corporation counsel “fairly quickly,” adding that from a paperwork perspective, it’s easier to have people start in new positions on a Monday.

“So I can’t do it midweek,” he said.

He’s also choosing a successor to Richard Purga, the long-time “acting” director of development. Purga also retired just before the Labor Day weekend.

McCarthy said his new director will no longer have the word “acting” stuck to the title. He said he never knew why Purga was the acting director, and never got a clear explanation.

Whatever the reason, he plans to have a non-acting new director.

“I’ll make those changes very shortly,” he said.

Purga started working for the city in 1981 as a community development assistant, according to city payroll records. He quickly became acting director of development, although in 1999, his position was handed to Steven Strichman, who is now the zoning officer.

Polster became the city’s corporation counsel in 2011, after working part-time for the law department for nearly seven years. He specialized in tax cases, code violations and contracts between the city and other municipalities.

This year, his salary was $92,920.

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