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Syracuse mayor appoints new counsel for last year in office

Ellen Abbott

There’s some personnel shuffling going on in the higher echelons of Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner’s lame duck administration.

The new man in city hall will be former Onondaga County Court Judge Joseph Fahey. He’s coming out of retirement to become Miner’s top legal advisor, as corporation counsel, and expects to weigh in on a number of things.

"There will be issues with respect to Consensus. There will be issues, perhaps, with respect to immigration under the new administration and how the city addresses that. I have been looking at those issues. We haven’t talked really about advice or conclusions at this point," said Fahey. Consensus is the report recommending government consolidation in Syracuse and Onondaga County.

Fahey will also be involved with pending litigation, including a year-long legal fight with COR Development over the future of Syracuse’s Inner Harbor. This week, a New York State Supreme Court Appellate Judge ruled against the city in its attempt to get the court to drop the developers most recent lawsuit.

"There was just a determination with a respect to the litigation. That means litigation will be moving forward, and I believe the city will be conducting discovery and depositions. And I’ll be involved with the lawyers that are involved in that as we move forward,” said Fahey

Fahey fills the spot as corporation counsel being left by Robert Stamey, who’s returning as head of the Personnel and Labor Relations Department, after a stint as corporation counsel.

Miner says it’s important to have experience in that department with potential changes to the federal regulatory environment by the Trump administration.

"What’s going to happen with the Affordable Care Act? How does that affect us an an employer of our folks? What’s going to happen to the Fair Labor Standards Act? What’s going to happen to the overtime regulations put through with executive order, that may be rescinded with executive order on January 21st.”

These appointments are effective starting in 2017.

Ellen produces news reports and features related to events that occur in the greater Syracuse area and throughout Onondaga County. Her reports are heard regularly in regional updates in Morning Edition and All Things Considered.