Endicott Board Eliminates Attorney

By James Gaddis

July 22, 2010 Updated Jan 17, 2006 at 9:30 PM EDT

Mayor Joan Hickey Pulse appointed Michael Fauci as attorney on Dec. 28. Trustees complained Fauci didn't live within the Village limits and couldn't serve as attorney.

Monday night, trustees took matters into their own hands. By a vote of 4 to 2, the Village of Endicott board voted to eliminate the position of Village Attorney and hire local law firm Coughlin and Gearhart instead. They think too many lawyers are representing the village in a variety of lawsuits.

"We'd like to get it to one law firm where there's a lot of good expertise. They can look over cases and we can bring them to some resolution. Lots of money gets spent on lawyers fees and it costs the village taxpayers lots of money. Our goal is to decrease the cost to the village taxpayer," said Trustee Betty Havel.

But mayor Joan Hickey Pulse says the board doesn't have that power and adds attorney Michael Fauci isn't going anywhere. She says the board doesn't have the power to remove the village attorney, although it has tried before.

"The former mayor, six votes did not carry when Mayor Colella was here. At that time, six on the board voted against the attorney. The attorney stayed on the board," Mayor Joan Hickey Pulse said.

Pulse says attorney Michael Fauci will be at the next regular meeting. She says she'll do whatever it takes to keep the position -- even if it means going to court.

Trustees say as far as they're concerned, Fauci's position has been eliminated and he no longer represents the village.

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