Tonawanda News

Local News

December 5, 2012

Election chief still on hold


Tonawanda News — Not that it matters, since Smith can be given the job for another two years with or without GOP lawmakers’ support.

By state election law, county legislatures pretty much rubber-stamp the major political parties’ picks for county election commissioners; they don’t have any authority to appoint commissioners who are not supported by their party.

And if the full legislature doesn’t vote to appoint Smith by Dec. 19 — 30 days after the Democratic committee advanced its recommendation to the legislature clerk — then state law gives appointing power to Democratic legislators alone.

Virtuoso will make the appointing motion at the legislature’s first meeting in January, he said.

Soos, in a late Tuesday telephone interview, said he successfully appealed the labor department’s denial of unemployment benefits last week. The county didn’t send anyone to object at his Nov. 26 hearing before an administrative judge.

“I knew I was going to win. Obviously they did too,” Soos said of the


Regarding his termination from the board, Soos acknowledged it was political — and largely expected. Forster, the newly elected party chair, had vowed to do some “house cleaning” and that didn’t bode well for Soos, a known ally of former chairman Daniel Rivera.

“I figured eventually I’d get fired ... I just didn’t think it’d be the next day,” Soos said.

Soos added he’s looking for work. He sold his family’s Oliver Street bar while still mayor and is presently without employment.

Tonawanda News editor

Eric DuVall contributed to this report.

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