LEGISLATURE CHAIR DOHERTY DISSES DA GALLIGAN; LEGISLATOR RAJSZ CALLS IT 'GENDER DISCRIMINATION'
BUT LEGISLATURE PASSES AMENDED RESOLUTION UNANIMOUSLY AFTER GALLIGAN ARGUMENT PREVAILS
MONTICELLO - District 2 Legislator Nadia Rajsz today accused Legislature Chair (and District 1 Legislator) Rob Doherty of "gender discrimination" regarding his behavior towards District Attorney Meagan Galligan at last Thursday's meeting of the Human Resources Committee.
Her remarks today came seconds after Doherty had prevented Galligan from speaking publicly about a resolution before the full Legislature regarding Assistant District Attorney (ADA) salaries in the DA's office. It was the same issue that was before the HR Committee last Thursday and at prior meetings of the body in recent months. (Our editorial from last week on the matter is here).
"This has happened to me and a slew of other women who have come here and have disagreed with the chair," Rajsz said publicly today. "He's a bully and he harasses people.... I think we need to purse his behavior towards women and it needs to be corrected."
Doherty then shot back: "Not only are those comments reckless, they are actionable so I won't allow you to make any further comment on them. "
But after collective pressure on Doherty from other legislators, Galligan was permitted to speak from the podium.
She opened her remarks with:
"I am outraged that the elected District Attorney has been denied the opportunity to have input to this legislature on this resolution." Galligan angrily pointed out that, just one week ago, a department head -Jim McAndrew - "was praised" by legislators for speaking publicly and offering amendments to a resolution concerning his Public Works department.
Regarding the latest resolution that the Legislature was about to vote on, the DA wanted it changed because, as she asserted, the County Legislature is treating her ADA's differently than all other "management confidential" County employees who will automatically get a two percent raise each year.
After a brief discussion, legislators agreed to an amended resolution that removed the phrase "cost of living," which will give Galligan more flexibility with raises for her ADA's.
Below is the paragraph from the resolution that was revised, with the removal of the phrase, "cost of living."
RESOLVED, that cost of living adjustments to anticipated steps and Senior Assistant District Attorney salaries will be fixed by yearly budget appropriations or other resolution of the Legislature; and it is further...
Moments before the meeting adjourned, Doherty got in the last word when he said that while he appreciates that Galligan is looking out for her staff, "her office is not the only office in the County that works hard" and that other department heads also bring their work home at night.
The full resolution, before the amendment, is below.