Erie County Courthouse – where the magic happens.
Incoming! Pat Howard of our local Erie Times-News is all fired up about Erie County Council’s decision to hire Attorney Tony Logue to direct the county’s Human Relations Commission, and he is right to be hot. Logue has no business in this position whatsoever.
There are a few problems here. The previous HRC Director, Attorney Joseph Aguglia, was fired after 12 years in the position and initially no reason was given for his firing. Eventually, the line was that he was fired for continuing to run his private law office while running the HRC. Guess what? Tony Logue also has a private practice, and vows to continue running it while running the HRC. I know this needs no further explanation it bears repeating. If you fire a person for a particular thing, you have no business hiring another person that plans to do that same thing.
There is so much more. To make a hiring decision, County Council assigned three of their members (Kathy Fatica, Kyle Foust, and Andre Horton, all Democrats) to interview candidates. They interviewed five, issued a unanimous recommendation, and later said Tony Logue was not in their top three.
It was at this point that the remaining four members of County Council (Carl Anderson, Fiore Leone, Carol Loll, and Scott Rastetter – two Democrats and two Republicans) sent Logue through on a 4-3 majority vote. Now, you may ask yourself, what was the point of making the others interview all the candidates? No one knows.
So what did they have to say for themselves after the vote? They said Logue was “the only candidate with five years of supervisory or administrative experience,” and then presumably laughed quietly to themselves because (1) that seems like something you could’ve checked before the interviews, and (2) that’s an odd requirement for a position supervising all of one employee.
Isn’t it still a little conspiratorial to assume some County Council members would just appoint a crony to the position? No, because they’ve done it before. Specifically, Anderson nominated Logue for a spot on the Erie County Gaming Revenue Authority Board just this January even though Anderson could only nominate people living in his district. Of course, Tony Logue didn’t live in the district.
Meanwhile, what will this mess cost us taxpayers? Don’t ask Tony Logue – he doesn’t think it’s any of your business. Quote: “Nobody should be speaking about someone’s personal matters.” Which our hero Pat Howard correctly points out is absurd because we’re paying the bill. Turns out, if Tony Logue works even one incompetent day on this job he will receive a $12,000 annual pension.
What is the Human Relations Commission, anyway? It exists “to eliminate discrimination in employment, housing, and public accommodations.” That’s right. This guy will be judging whether employment decisions were prejudiced. What a joke.