Kent supervisor's assistant fired without notice

By CARA MATTHEWS
THE JOURNAL NEWS
(Original publication: May 11, 2002)

A Democratic Town Committee member who was assistant to Republican Supervisor Annmarie Baisley for nearly two years was abruptly fired Thursday, apparently as a result of clashes with his boss.

Vincent Pasquantonio, 55, said he was told that his services were no longer required. Baisley hired him in the summer of 2000.

Pasquantonio said he was called into Baisley's office. He said Town Attorney Timothy Curtiss was in the office and told him he was fired, emphasizing Pasquantonio was a political appointee who served at the pleasure of the supervisor.

"He said that it's been a good run, 'but you know that you can no longer hold this job,' " Pasquantonio said.

Baisley confirmed yesterday that Pasquantonio was no longer working for the town. She said his salary was $33,860. She declined to comment further, citing confidentiality of personnel issues.

Pasquantonio, who worked for the state Department of Health before taking the job with Baisley, said he is considering legal action against the town for being fired.

He said he and Baisley had a good working relationship until early this year.

Pasquantonio was subpoenaed Jan. 28 to testify before the state Commission on Judicial Conduct, which has been investigating off-the-bench conduct by Kent Town Justice Joseph Esposito. Esposito, a retired Kent police officer, is accused of trying to increase the assessment on property owned by a former town justice.

Baisley was also subpoenaed to testify before the commission.

"I seem to have gotten along with the supervisor until the matter of the board of judicial review became an issue," Pasquantonio said yesterday. "The supervisor knew that I was a member of the Democratic Committee when she hired me, and I was always loyal to her until that time."

Town Board member Joseph D'Ambrosio, the only Democrat on the board, said he thinks the firing was for political reasons. "I think it's disgraceful. He's a hard worker. He's the core of the office. He keeps things going," he said of Pasquantonio.



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