Outgoing Supervisor Steve Reiter has been granted a leave of absence through the end of the year.
During a meeting in executive session Tuesday evening, members of the town board were presented with a letter from Reiter, asking them to excuse him from service as supervisor through the end of his term on Dec. 31. Following the executive session, the board formally reconvened to accept Reiter's request.
For the remainder of the year, Deputy Supervisor Gary Catlin will oversee duties related to the town's top post. Supervisor-elect Dennis Brochey is in line to take over those responsibilities starting in 2014.
Town of Lewiston attorney Michael Dowd confirmed the board's decision on Wednesday. He declined additional comment, referring all questions to Catlin who said Reiter's letter did not specify his reasons for requesting the leave. Catlin said the leave was granted without pay.
"I want to thank Steve Reiter for his dedicated service for many, many years to the town," Catlin said. "He has served a lot of different departments. I don't think we will ever have a supervisor who knew the ins and outs of the town like Steve did. It's a loss for the town."
Reiter faced several challenges - both personally and politically - in the past year. He was temporarily sidelined in June following heart surgery. Around the same time, the Lewiston Republican Party stopped circulating nominating petitions on his behalf, choosing instead to support town councilman Ernie Palmer as the endorsed GOP candidate for supervisor.
The move followed a visit to town hall by agents from the FBI and the New York State Attorney General's Office who have been following up on items flagged during a 2011 audit by the state Comptroller's Office, including use of town fuel supplies by town employees and drainage work performed by the town's highway department.