Embattled Saratoga Springs clerk tells her side of the story
SARATOGA SPRINGS Mary Zlotnick, who is on unpaid suspension from her clerk’s job in the city Accounts Department, was questioned at length Friday afternoon by an attorney representing the city in its attempt to fire her.
Zlotnick’s alleged insubordination and misconduct while on the job is the subject of an administrative hearing required prior to termination.
Mark McCarthy of Harris Beach, the city’s consulting labor counsel, asked Zlotnick about comments she has made questioning the way Assistant City Assessor Anthony Popolizio has reduced the assessments on some condominiums. McCarthy also asked her about comments she has made indicating that Popolizio, in her opinion, helped or “coached” businesswoman Diane Young on reducing condominium assessments for her paying clients.
The city has filed five charges of misconduct or insubordination against Zlotnick.
Zlotnick said she brought her allegations to the attention of her superiors, the city Police Department and the state Attorney General’s Office over the past year.
She said she did not make a complaint or allegation of criminal activity on the part of Popolizio or Young.
She testified during the hearing in City Hall that she saw Diane Young coming into Popolizio’s office and the assistant city assessor lower assessments on condominiums.
She said she heard Popolizio tell Young that certain properties were “vulnerable” with the idea that Young would seek to have the assessments reduced on these condominiums and collect a fee for doing it.
McCarthy asked Zlotnick if she was alleging that Popolizio was telling Young what property owners to solicit.
“That’s what it sounded like to me,” she replied.
The hearing before outside hearing officer Christopher Nicolino started Thursday morning and continued until after 5 p.m. Friday. The hearing will resume at 10 a.m. Thursday, a delay required by scheduling commitments by parties involved in the case.
Mark T. Walsh, the Albany-based attorney representing Zlotnick, is expected to question her when the hearing resumes.