Niagara Gazette

Local News

October 12, 2012

Council asked to drop opt-out payments

(Continued)

Niagara Gazette — The investigation by the district attorney’s office determined that the overpayment was made through no fault of Grandinetti’s but rather was due to a clerical error in the city’s human resources department. Violante said his office found no evidence of criminal conduct on Grandinetti’s part. She has since made arrangements to repay the difference between the bonus she received and the amount she was actually owed.

Grandinetti said her payment situation had nothing to do with her decision to submit the resolution and that it was a cost-cutting effort only. 

“We are trying to cut money,” she said. “I want to do something and I think this would be a no-brainer.” 

The resolution would impact Grandinetti and two other council members, Chairman Sam Fruscione and lawmaker Glenn Choolokian. In response to a Freedom of Information request from the Niagara Gazette, the city’s Equal Employment Office Coordinator Ruby Pulliam confirmed that Fruscione and Choolokian each received $9,713 for opting out of the city’s family health insurance and dental plan, while Grandinetti received $3,537 for opting out of single coverage. In total, Pulliam said the opt out costs for the council was $22,943. Pulliam confirmed that council members Charles Walker and Robert Anderson Jr. did not receive opt-out payments. 

Grandinetti’s resolution is scheduled to be brought up for consideration by the council during its meeting Monday. The council will hold an agenda review session at 4 p.m. followed by the regular council meeting at 7 p.m. Both meetings will be held in council chambers at City Hall, 745 Main St. 

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