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Union Board Finally Passes Harassment Resolutions Against Sotak

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TOWN OF UNION, N.Y. -

It took two meetings, two weeks apart, but the Town of Union board was able to pass four resolutions regarding harassment allegations against Supervisor Rose Sotak.

Wednesday night's vote came after Sotak held over those four resolutions from the meeting on April 15. Holding them stopped the rest of the board from voting, but automatically put them on the March 1 agenda.

The approved resolutions:

  • To place the Executive Summary Report on record at the Clerk's Office (Passed 4-1)
  • To self-report the Executive Summary Report to the Town's insurance carrier (Passed 5-0)
  • To ensure that Town Employees will have someone present for all meetings with Sotak (Passed 4-1)
  • To retain Coughlin & Gerhart, LLP as the Town's legal counsel against any future legal proceedings against Sotak (Passed 4-1)

Supervisor Sotak voted no to three of the four resolutions, but they passed with a majority of the board voting yes.

The report claims that multiple Town Employees alleged Sotak used demeaning language, threatened to fire employees and created a hostile work environment.

She was clearly irritated with the board's votes against her. When asked to vote on the first resolution, Sotak said it didn't matter.

"I think it's a moot point since this is already leaked out to the press," said Sotak.

I said it was a moot point so I vote no.

— Supervisor Rose Sotak on putting the Report on record

She was in support of the second resolution and did vote with the rest of the board to pass it unanimously.

"I think this is something to be looked at. For the taxpayer, this is a burden. It will probably go through general funds, which would be a big burden on a stressed budget area on the Villages especially," said Sotak.

But not everyone was buying her reasoning.

"There's no amount of money that I'm not willing to spend to protect our employees. No amount. I'll spend whatever it takes," said Council Member Frank Bertoni.

Sotak did not agree to the third resolution saying "no, but the resolution is adopted."

The Supervisor also expressed issues with the fourth resolution, which will retain Coughlin & Gerhart, LLP as the law firm that represents the Town if further legal action needs to be taken against Sotak, including to remove her from her position. 

"There is a public officer's law for removal of Town Officials, why would we pay $250 an hour?" said Sotak.

Sotak did have the option to table the resolutions to a further date, but that would have required a majority of the board to back her decision. Instead, the door is wide open for the Town of Union board to begin the removal of the Supervisor for her position.