On June 19, 2007, this story about the Lancaster Highway Department ran in The Buffalo News:
"Town of Lancaster officials wrongly gave a $60,000 chief job in the town Highway Department to someone in a
politically connected family last summer, according to union leaders..... In order to comply with an arbitrator's finding against the town for
its hiring decision, the Town Board voted Monday to create another, new
crew chief position at the same salary.
" Terri Hoffmann, labor relations specialist for Local 815, Civil
Service Employees Association, said the upshot is that the Highway
Department now has four crew chiefs, instead of three, with each
chief now supervising fewer than six employees.
" "So now we've got four working crew chiefs making 60
grand a year, plus a highway superintendent," she said.
" Town Attorney
Richard Sherwood strongly disagreed with Hoffmann's and others'
characterizations of the situation, saying the town made an honest mistake and
was forced to create the new position because Civil Service rules prevent the
town from demoting the man they originally hired to fill the post.
" Last summer, Highway Superintendent Richard Reese hired Daniel
Latello to fill a working crew chief vacancy. Latello is the
brother of the owner of Fireside Inn on Central Avenue, Hoffmann said, and had
far less experience than other candidates.
" He was also hired out of blue-collar union ranks, even though the job
was categorized as a white-collar union position at the time.
" The arbitrator stated that John Smith, a former construction
inspector, should have been given the job. Monday, the town created a new
crew chief position so that both Smith and Latello could be
accommodated, even though it is unclear whether the Highway Department
has any need for an additional chief."
The FBI has not yet released information about its arrest today of the highway superintendent.