The Putnam Examiner

Carmel Resident Chosen as Putnam Legislative Counsel

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By Neal Rentz

The Putnam County Legislature has chosen a Carmel resident to become its legislative counsel for the rest of the year.

During a special meeting on May 25 the county Legislature voted unanimously to hire Robert Firriolo. He will receive a prorated portion of an annual salary of $65,000 and will be in the post until Dec. 31 unless the legislature votes to extend his tenure.

Moments after being chosen by legislators, Firriolo said he pursued the position because “I’m very interested in working with the Legislature. I think it’s a civic responsibility of everyone to get involved in the political process and the government process and I think this is a good way for me to use my skills as an attorney to help public service and help the Legislature.”

Firriolo said he would continue working for his current law firm, Boutin and Altieri, which has an office in Carmel. Though he had not previously been employed in government, Firriolo said he had volunteered his time to help to draft and review legislation.

Firriolo, 51, said he has been involved with the Boy Scouts of America, overseeing Citizenship Merit Badges “and instilling the importance of the government process and getting involved and making a difference in government. So this is sort of a natural extension for me of what I’ve been doing.”

“I’m very excited to start working with the legislature and getting more involved with the day to day operations of county government,” Firriolo added.

Following the meeting Legislature Chairwoman Ginny Nacerino explained why she and her colleagues gave their support to Firriolo.

“We went through a very intensive vetting process of many candidates and out of all the candidates we felt that he was best suited for this position.” she said. “He has all the attributes we’re looking for. We’re looking forward to a new direction and a new path and we’re very excited about having him come on board.”

In January the lawmakers removed Clement Van Ross, a Putnam Valley resident, from the position by an 8-1 vote. Van Ross was legislative counsel for more than four decades, but was relieved of his duties one year before his contract came to a close.

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