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New position will accelerate qualified candidate's entrance into Genesee County District Attorney's office

By Mike Pettinella

With a qualified candidate for an open assistant district attorney post waiting for results of the New York State bar examination, the Genesee County Legislature’s Public Service Committee is recommending passage of District Attorney Lawrence Friedman’s request to create a new position that would enable her to begin employment right away.

Friedman, at Monday’s PSC meeting at the Office of Emergency Management Services on State Street Road, said he just received word that an ADA will be leaving in two weeks, leaving a void in his department that needs to be filled immediately.

“I have someone in mind to hire … who took the bar at the end of July,” he said. “Experience has taught us it is very difficult to fill these positions.”

Per the resolution passed by the committee and forwarded to the full legislature next week, the candidate is a Genesee County resident who completed law school and has indicated a desire to become an ADA upon passing the bar exam.

The new position of a full-time temporary criminal law associate, per the resolution, “will allow this individual to perform many of the duties of an Assistant District Attorney, while under the direct supervision of a licensed attorney … to help alleviate the backlog of work.”

Friedman said another ADA is on Family Leave until January 2022.

The candidate, who was not named, has been a Genesee County dispatcher for seven years and has experience as a court clerk, Friedman said.

“I’ve known her for a long time. She’s a local resident who very much wants to be a prosecutor,” he said, adding that an order from the Appellate Division authorizes her to work during a “training period” until becoming a full-fledged lawyer.

The term of the new position is Aug. 30 through Feb. 28, 2022, but Friedman said he hopes it will be shorter than that.

In another development, the committee voted to accept an Airport Improvement Program grant from the Federal Aviation Administration for the reconstruction of the existing apron and associated lighting at the Genesee County Airport.

Total cost of the capital project is $1.5 million, with federal and state funding taking care of all but the county’s share of $75,866 (which will be paid from the 1 percent sales tax fund).

The legislature’s Ways & Means Committee met after the PSC, approving several resolutions, including the following:

  • Charging back to several towns and the City of Batavia for assessment rolls, tax rolls, tax bills, supplies, and assessment update services that were provided in the previous fiscal year.

The total amount of chargebacks, which will be applied to 2022 town and city budgets, is $87,651. Another $12,650 is being charged back for New York State licensing fees.

Amounts by municipality, with figures representing number of parcels, assessment rolls/bills, license fees and total:

  • Alabama --- 1,130; $3,390.00; $1,000.00; $4,390.00.
  • Alexander -- 1,459; $4,377.00; $1,000.00; $5,377.00.
  • Batavia (Town) -- 3,121; $9,363.00; $631.05; $9,994.05.
  • Bergen -- 1,668; $5,004.00; $1,000.00; $6,004.00.
  • Bethany -- 1,019; $3,057.00; $427.10; $3,484.10.
  • Byron -- 1,359 ; $4,077.00; $1,000.00; $5,077.00.
  • Darien -- 1,844; $5,532.00; $772.90; $6,304.90.
  • Elba -- 1,502; $4,506.00; $1,000.00; $5,506.00.
  • Le Roy -- 3,483; $10,449.00; $1,045.32; $11,494.32.
  • Oakfield -- 1,522; $4,566.00; $1,000.00; $5,566.00.
  • Pavilion -- 1,515; $4,545.00; $454.68; $4,999.68.
  • Pembroke -- 2,485; $7,455.00; $1,200.00; $8,655.00.
  • Stafford -- 1,576; $4,728.00; $1,000.00; $5,728.00.
  • Batavia (City) -- 5,534; $16,602.00; $1,118.95; $17,720.95.

The 2020 chargebacks totaled $98,427.00.

  • Authorization to submit a grant application to the New York State Office of Community Renewal for a Community Development Block Grant of up to $1 million to assist small businesses (25 employees or less) and microenterprises in the wake of losses incurred during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The funds would be facilitated by the Genesee Gateway Local Development Corp., said County Manager Matt Landers.

The resolution indicates the grant will lead to “substantial benefit to Genesee County in forms of safer businesses, new investment, and new or restored employment positions.”

  • On another front, Landers said the committee charged with studying the new county jail is supporting the building of a 184-bed, four-pod facility on West Main Street Road, including the construction of a backup E-911 center.

Landers said the plan is to solicit bids in the late fall or early winter and to break ground next spring.

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