AUBURN — Cayuga County will not appeal a court decision ordering it to pay approximately $300,000 to a former jail inmate.
The Cayuga County Legislature voted 10-3 Tuesday night against a resolution that would have appealed Cayuga County Judge Mark H. Fandrich's ruling in favor of Richard T. Andrews.
Andrews, a former inmate at the Cayuga County Jail, suffered shoulder fractures resulting from seizures after jail staff denied him his prescription medication, according to the November decision. Fandrich ordered Cayuga County to pay the Auburn resident about $61,000 in medical expenses and about $244,000 for past and present pain and suffering.
Legislators went into executive session to discuss pending litigation during their full monthly meeting. When session reopened, Legislator Andrew Dennison brought back the tabled resolution to hire the Law Firm of Frank W. Miller to proceed with an appeal.
There was no discussion, but a roll-call vote was requested. Legislators Dennison, Christopher Petrus and Legislature Chairman Patrick Mahunik voted in favor of the resolution. Legislators Paul Pinckney and Michael Didio were absent.
On Wednesday, Cayuga County Administrator J. Justin Woods issued a press release outlining why the majority of legislators voted against an appeal. Legal fees for the appeal, which could amount to $25,000 to $50,000, would have to come out of the county's general fund and there was no guarantee that the county would win. The court-ordered payment, on the other hand, will be covered by the county's insurance police.
"The Legislature’s decision not to appeal the case was a prudent financial decision, and should not in any way be viewed as a judgment of our Custody Division, who we fully support,” Woods said in the press release.
In other news:
• Of 12,000 pistol permit holders in Cayuga County, only 2,200 have re-certified as of two weeks ago, according to a resolution. The Legislature voted in favor of calling on Gov. Andrew Cuomo to delay or extend the state's SAFE Act pistol permit recertification, which currently has a Jan. 31 deadline.
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Pistol permit holders that do not recertify by that date will have their licenses revoked.
The Legislature unanimously voted on the resolution, but not before revising it. Legislator Joe DeForest moved to delete six paragraphs of the resolution, which in summation referenced the U.S. Constitution.
One of the paragraphs stated, "the enactment of the NY SAFE Act has engendered significant controversy over both the process by which it was enacted and certain provisions contained within."
DeForest called the language "antagonistic" and said removing it would not change the request.
The majority of legislators agreed in a 9-5 vote with Legislators Tucker Whitman, Petrus, Joe Bennett, Tim Lattimore and Didio against the edits. The Legislature then unanimously passed the resolution as amended.
• Multiple Cayuga County officials were granted raises Tuesday night. Salary bumps, most in the area of 1.9 percent, were slated for elected officials and county staff appointed for a fixed term during their term.
Following a public hearing at which no one spoke, legislators unanimously passed a resolution to adopt a local law providing the raises.
The positions to get increases include the county sheriff, the director of real property tax services, the public health director, the county highway superintendent, the county treasurer, the county coroner, the county clerk, civil service commissioner, civil service chairperson and elections commissioner.