Niagara Gazette

January 3, 2013

County refuse director resigns as dispute with county manager continues

Staff Reports
Niagara Gazette

LOCKPORT — The top management post at the Niagara County Refuse Disposal District may stay vacant awhile after the Wednesday resignation of longtime Director Richard Pope.

According to County Manager Jeffrey Glatz, Pope, a 19-year employee who'd been on paid administrative leave the past two months, tendered his resignation over a disagreement between the two regarding profitability of a county-owned C&D landfill. Glatz wants steps taken to close the landfill before it's filled to capacity, while Pope insisted it's a money-maker that helps offset the refuse tax rate. The district exists basically to oversee long-term monitoring of three closed county landfills and the money for that is raised from refuse tax.

 
Glatz said he does not believe Pope resigned over his continued administrative leave, which was imposed Nov. 1 after Glatz received information suggesting Pope had violated the county's employee residency and county vehicle use policies. Glatz said the allegations were investigated but he would not divulge the results Thursday, other than to say Pope appeared to meet the employee residency requirement.

 
"The matter is closed," Glatz said of the investigation.

 
Regarding Pope's reason(s) for quitting, he added, "His letter gives no indication why. I think, with the county plan looking at (landfill) closure, he felt that it was time for him to move on. ... He never gave any indication that (the investigation) was the reason for his resignation. We parted amicably."

 
Pope did not respond to a reporter's request for comment on the matter Thursday.

 

Look for more in Friday's Gazette.