Newly sworn in Ontario Town Supervisor resigns after 3 days in office
On Thursday afternoon, at about 1:00 pm, the newly elected Ontario Town Supervisor, Joe Molino submitted a letter of resignation to Town Clerk Debra DeMinck.
It read: “It is with much regret that I am submitting my letter of resignation from the position of Ontario Town Supervisor effective immediately. It is perhaps the most difficult decision of my life. It has been a great honor to be elected by the voters of this town. However, extenuating circumstances necessitated this decision.
Sincerely, Joe Molino”
Molino did not elaborate on the “exenuating circumstances”, and asked for privacy, following his statement.
According to appointed Deputy Town Supervisor Frank Robusto, the Town Board had called an executive meeting for Thursday night at 5:00 pm on a personnel matter, completely unrelated to the Supervisor’s resignation, which occurred on Thursday afternoon.
The Town Board issued this statement Thursday night:
“Town of Ontario Supervisor Joe Molino submitted his resignation effective immediately today due to extenuating circumstances. The Town Board had an emergency meeting and appointed Frank Robusto as the Deputy Supervisor. The Board will be moving to fill this vacancy in the near future.”
Since there was no time to inform the public of a meeting on Thursday, the Ontario Town Board held an open meeting to discuss the next step. “We held the discussion at an open meeting, although the public was not there,” said Robusto. “We felt it was not appropriate for an executive session, since we were discussing options and wanted public input.”
The board also felt that making a quick decision on an appointment without public input would not be prudent. Robusto indicated that the Board will convene in Open Session at their next regularly scheduled Board meeting on Monday, January 8th.
Robusto will run the meeting as Deputy Supervisor and the board will have four votes on an appointment, if they choose to do so on Monday.
“In our discussions, names were mentioned which brought a 2-2 tie, and a 3-1 vote. We really hope to be able to come together and chose an appointment unanimously,” stated Robusto. He did indicate that he was taken by surprise by Molino’s resignation.
Although there is no specified timeframe to appoint a successor, the board could defer to the governor to call for a special election, but Robusto did not see that as an option they would take. “We want to do this sooner than later, and definitely with public input.”
The Wayne County Board of Elections, when questioned as to procedure deferred to the Town of Ontario’s attorney or the State Election board for clarification. “We are not the source for advice on this situation. Although we could site passages from State Election Law and Municipal Law, the Town should be conferring with their Town Attorney or the State Election Board,” said Kelley Borrelli, Deputy Election Commissioner.