St. Lawrence County Democratic legislators today sent a letter to the editor sticking up for Gavin Regan, the man who was appointed as the county clerk.
He came under withering criticism from even longtime Democrats like Chuck Kelly, who said his firing of Mary Lou Rupp was politically motivated and untenable. (He's going to face Mrs. Rupp for a full term for the post in November. Mrs. Rupp was Patty Ritchie's longtime second-in-command who temporarily took over the office when Mrs. Ritchie was elected to the state Senate, before Mr. Regan canned her.)
Here's the letter:
"It has been 3 months since Gavin Regan was appointed our County Clerk by Governor Andrew Cuomo. The process began months beforehand with interviews, including personal ones in Albany, and vetting by the Cuomo staff. Only after this rigorous process which took months was Gavin Regan appointed. While this process was going on, Gavin Regan began an intensive study of the role of the County Clerk and the various complexities of the office. When he was finally officially appointed, he had a strong working knowledge of the office and a determination to run it efficiently as possible. He had decided to try to save money by eliminating one Deputy of the two which the law entitled him to have. Every single appointee who serves at the will of the head of a Department chances loss of position with incoming new leadership. It is the kind of risk that comes when trading a protected union position for an unprotected management position with the higher salary and greater prestige.
Having said this, let us move on to the present. Gavin Regan has been on top of things in the office since the beginning bringing it further into the 21st Century of technology and electronics. He appeared before the Board of Legislators and gave a detailed and comprehensive outline of the Senate bill on electronic filing, its potential to damage the County’s income from out of county registrations and his very proactive opposition to this bill. He was in the forefront of the Statewide action with the County Clerk’s Association’s efforts to obtain a compromise on this bill and narrow its scope so as NOT to impact St. Lawrence County’s lucrative DMV business. He has used his energy and expertise to benefit St. Lawrence County.
Gavin Regan has weathered the criticisms of him and his appointment process like a gentleman and a professional. We know that he will continue to conduct himself in that manner . In today’s age, that is a tremendous positive that is well worth noting. His work ethic, his respect for his employees and others, his willingness to be proactive, his ethics make him a tremendous County Clerk who will only improve with time and experience. Governor Cuomo and his staff have chosen a great new County Clerk for St. Lawrence County and we, the undersigned Legislators, support him fully."
The letter was signed by: Tony Arquiett, Vernon “Sam” Burns, Jim Bunstone, Sallie Brothers, Fred Morrill, Greg Paquin, Steve Putman and Jon Putney — all the members of the party's caucus in the county Legislature.