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The Steuben Courier Advocate
  • Leaving county position may not end troubles for Hornellsville supervisor

  • Leaving his position as the Steuben County Risk Manager may not end legal troubles for Hornellsville Town Supervisor Ken Isaman.
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  • Leaving his position as the Steuben County Risk Manager may not end legal troubles for Hornellsville Town Supervisor Ken Isaman.
    Larry Stephens, one of the two men who filed suits against Isaman, the town and the county, said Wednesday he doesn’t plan to back off after Isaman’s resignation.
    In fact, he filed a new action against Isaman on Wednesday, he said.
    “We’re not going to quit,” Stephens said.
    Isaman said he’d hoped his decision to resign would avoid expensive legal defenses by the town and county. He said his departure from either the town or county position was the remedy called for in the suits.
    “I thought, ‘OK, they’ve got what they want,’” he said.
    Stephens said his concerns about Isaman extend beyond any possible conflict between his town supervisor position and his former job as the county’s insurance manager.
    He said he objects to Isaman maintaining his association with the Sweeney insurance company.
    Isaman said he has maintained insurance for clients he had before he took the county position, but hasn’t marketed or sold any new policies while he’s worked for the county.
    “That was the agreement with the county when I was hired,” he said.
    Stephens said he also objects to how Isaman has run Hornellsville, in particular the Town Board’s closing of public comment periods at meetings. Isaman said that became necessary in order to conduct business without the proceedings being taken over by Stephens.
    Isaman said it was only possible for him to leave the $70,000 salary from the Risk Manager job because he’ll soon be eligible for Social Security and a state employee pension.
    The Risk Manager handles auto, liability and workers’ compensation insurance for the county, as well as conducting safety training for county employees. Actual insurance claims are processed through a third-party administrator.
    Steuben County officials will conduct a review of the position before making any moves to fill the job.
    County Manager Mark Alger said it’s standard procedure when a position is vacated to take a look at it and determine if it could be done with a part-time employee or contracted out.
    But Alger said the vacancy will make more work for other county employees until it’s filled one way or another.
    “There’s definitely work to be done there,” he said.
    Insurance industry experience is a requirement of the job, Alger said, and he considered Isaman well-qualified for it.
    Alger said he couldn’t comment on any issue of conflict of interest because of the litigation.

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