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Groden to change Greene nepotism policy

Aug 19, 2019 1:30 pm
Sarah Trafton is reporting for Columbia-Greene Media the employment policies that govern the hiring of relatives in Greene County are being amended, County Administrator Shaun Groden said August 15. The existing policy prohibits a family member from working in the chain of command of a spouse, mother, father, brother, sister or child. Groden said he reviewed the policy after a controversy arose in July over Sheriff Greg Seeley's stated intent to hire his son as a deputy. At the time, Groden said Matthew Seeley could not be hired until Greg Seeley retired. Groden said last week that Matthew Seeley was hired as a provisional employee on May 18, and is being paid $22 per hour. “I reviewed this policy, which is [12] years old,” Groden said in a statement. “Now there is debate as to whether or not the policy is even legal. Denying someone career opportunities for no other reason than family ties is questionable. This county has many employees who are related to each other, even including spouses both working for us. Plus, we have a civil service system that reviews an applicant’s credentials to determine if they qualify for employment. DNA is not a disqualifying event. We will be updating our Administrative Manual accordingly,” Groden said. Several legislators were surprised to learn the policy was undergoing amendment, including the chairman of the Public Safety Committee William Lawrence, who represents Cairo. “You don’t want someone hired for a bias reason working for you," Lawrence said. “My belief is, don’t fix something that’s not broken." Lawrence said the board had not discussed the matter and that he felt out of the loop. He also said he assumed Matthew Seeley would be hired after Greg Seeley retired in December. Lawrence's fellow Republicans, including chairman Patrick Linger, all support the existing anti-nepotism policy. Gordon is working on the amended policy, which will eventually be presented to the full Legislature for approval. Read the full story at HudsonValley360 [dot] com.
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