News From the Town of Colonie

Paula A. Mahan
Town Supervisor

Town Seal

Cunningham Appointment as DPW Commissioner Upheld

Court Finds for Colonie in Ricket Case

Newtonville , N.Y. – In a decision handed down September 30, Acting Supreme Court Justice Thomas J. McNamara denied a petition by Theodore W. Ricket demanding that the appointment of Colonie Public Works Commissioner Jack Cunningham be invalidated.

The decision denied every claim put forth by Ricket, including his claim that the Town of Colonie lacked the authority to change its residency requirements to permit Cunningham and other Town employees to reside in Albany County rather than the Town.

Significantly, the Court ruled that the Town did not exceed its authority when it amended Local Law to reappoint Cunningham to his position as Commissioner of Public Works.

“I am very pleased with the Court's decision, which has categorically denied each and every claim made by my opponents. This is the outcome we had anticipated, and I hope it will lay to rest once and for all these baseless attacks,” said Town Supervisor Paula A. Mahan.

“Jack Cunningham has done a great job as our DPW Commissioner, and with his leadership we have made real advances in delivering the services our residents need. While we are happy to have won the case, the real winners are the Colonie taxpayers who will no longer have to pay to defend this frivolous lawsuit,” Supervisor Mahan continued.

The Court also dismissed the claim that Cunningham needed to be a licensed professional engineer in order to carry out his duties as Commissioner of Public Works. According to the decision, the fact that there are engineers in the Department of Public Works who perform the engineering work means that in his supervisory role, Cunningham is not performing engineering duties in contravention of the N.Y.S. Education Law.

In addition, the decision upheld the Town's position that the Commissioner of Public Works could be appointed on the basis of administrative experience and qualifications.

A copy of the decision is attached.