Tucker, 56, said while the timing of his resignation might raise some questions in light of the city's financial troubles, the move had been in the works for some time. After being elected to his third term in November 2011, Tucker knew he wouldn't run again and began searching for private-sector employment last month.
A few job opportunities sprung up quickly, some that may come to be in the next few weeks, Tucker said. After a recent conversation with his wife, Tucker said he made the decision to move on.
"There comes a time when you know," he said.
Tucker also denied any rumors that he was taking a position in the public sector, such as working for the state Department of Transportation, the state Canal Corp. or the New York Power Authority.
"I want to go into the private sector," Tucker said. "When an opportunity knocks, you have to seize it."
McCaffrey will also have to appoint a new 2nd Ward alderman to replace herself, as well as a new Common Council president, as per the city charter, said City Attorney John Ottaviano. The newly-appointed alderman would serve for all of 2014 and have to run for election in November.
McCaffrey declined to be interviewed on Friday, instead releasing a statement in which she said she was surprised by Tucker’s decision. She thanked Tucker and wished him the best, saying he accomplished some significant things during his tenure.
"Clearly, Lockport is faced with some tremendous challenges right now. I am fully prepared to step into the mayor’s office immediately and begin working to address these issues," McCaffrey said in the statement.
There's been a few challenges for Lockport over the past few months. State auditors came in the fall, after the city was labeled as a municipality in “moderate fiscal stress,” and stated poor accounting and budgeting practices were two major reasons.