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Five Oswego County legislators don't sign oath of office, must run again in fall

Payne Horning

Five Oswego County legislators who failed to fill out a required oath of office form will now have to run for reelection this fall despite being elected to a two-year term last November.

All elected county officials must sign an oath of office card by February 1, but several members, Margaret Kastler of Lacona, Milferd Potter of Pulaski, Shawn Doyle of Pulaski, Robert Hayes of Phoenix and Jim Karasek of Fulton, failed to submit the form in time. Karasek said he was preoccupied dealing with a medical issue.

"Obviously our focus was on doctor’s appointments, medications," Karasek said. "It simply was something that got set aside and forgot until the last minute and the last minute was too late."

The legislators, all of whom were incumbents, will represent the districts they won last November as appointed members. Fulton Legislator Dan Farfaglia said the situation reflects poorly on the county.

"It makes this body look negligent in addition to all of the problems we already have so it’s just embarrassing, it really is," Farfaglia said.

Oswego County Legislature Chairman Kevin Gardner said it's not the first time this has happened. For the future, he said they will have the members fill out the card when they are sworn in at the January meeting.

"The county clerk needs to be on site as well as the board of election commissioners, everybody on site, sign them and you’re done," Gardner said.

Officials plan to dock the five legislators, all of whom were incumbents, their pay for the time between Feburary 1 and the Tuesday meeting of the legislature. The members make $12,715 annually.

Payne Horning is a reporter and producer, primarily focusing on the city of Oswego and Oswego County. He has a passion for covering local politics and how it impacts the lives of everyday citizens. Originally from Iowa, Horning moved to Muncie, Indiana to study journalism, telecommunications and political science at Ball State University. While there, he worked as a reporter and substitute host at Indiana Public Radio. He also covered the 2015 session of the Indiana General Assembly for the statewide Indiana Public Broadcasting network.