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Some White Plains Residents Question Firing Of Public Works Commissioner

Former White Plains Public Works Commissioner Joseph "Bud" Nicoletti, left, and Mayor Thomas Roach, right, inspect the ball that was dropped on New Year's Eve 2015. Nicoletti was fired by Roach and his Common Council on Tuesday.
Former White Plains Public Works Commissioner Joseph "Bud" Nicoletti, left, and Mayor Thomas Roach, right, inspect the ball that was dropped on New Year's Eve 2015. Nicoletti was fired by Roach and his Common Council on Tuesday. Photo Credit: Jon Craig

This story has been updated.

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. -- This week's firing of White Plains Department of Public Works Commissioner Joseph "Bud" Nicoletti Jr. continues to attract criticism from some city residents.

About 60 of his supporters attended Wednesday's special meeting at City Hall. NIcoletti showed up to watch the Common Council vote 5-2, with Mayor Thomas Roach casting the fifth vote to let him go after 30 years of employment with the city. He'd been DPW commissioner since 1992..

Longtime Democratic district leader Carry Kyzivat wrote Roach and other members of the Common Council, calling Nicoletti's dismissal "a disgraceful act on your part – not withstanding Mayor Roach's hypocritical remarks."

Roach issued a statement that read: “I have worked with Commissioner Nicoletti for many years and appreciate his service to the City, but have decided, in consultation with the Council, that it is time for a change. This decision was not made lightly, but I am confident it is in the best interest of the City and its residents. I thank Commissioner Nicoletti for his years of service and wish him well.”

A $45,000 outside audit of Nicoletti's department, completed in March, concluded that micromanagement, poor communication and poor planning led to delays in infrastructure projects and costly overtime.

Nicoletti, who was making $180,400-a-year as DPW commissioner, reportedly was offered a chance to resign but declined.

"I am ashamed for our party, our committee and our city that five elected officials, whom I had supported and helped elect, should turn out to be such untrustworthy individuals,'' Kyzivat said. "Fortunately, we still have two council members who are smart, diligent, ethical and caring and who should be much valued by all of us. They need community support and admiration."

A spokeswoman for Roach said, "The mayor wanted to make a change and he had Council support to do it. . . .It's more of a day-to-day management issue."

Deputy DPW Commissioner Rick Hope was appointed acting commissioner.

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