After Tense Talks, Lake George Park Chief to Keep Job

Brian Mann
November 27, 2014
 

After days of tense negotiations, the Cuomo administration yesterday agreed to allow David Wick, head of the Lake George Park Commission, to keep his job.

Wick came under fire last week for alleged ethics violations, and Cuomo's office suggested he may have broken the law.

Governor Cuomo’s effort to oust Wick from the post drew fierce opposition from elected officials and environmental leaders around Lake George.

Wick will now serve a two-week unpaid suspension. The compromise appeared to defuse a stand-off between the governor and local leaders in New York's North Country.

This firestorm began last week when a representative of the governor’s office traveled to Lake George and delivered an ultimatum that Executive Director David Wick must resign or be fired. The governor's office clearly made a decision that it wanted to pull back.Lake George Park Commissioners refused which set off intense negotiations between leaders here in the North Country and the governor’s staff.

Local pressure to keep Wick reached a peak on Tuesday at the Park Commission’s monthly meeting when more than 30 people spoke on Wick’s behalf. One of those was Chris Navitsky, an environmentalist who heads Lake George’s Waterkeeper program.

At the meeting, Navitsky pulled out a small, one-gallon jerry jug, mocking claims that Wick was being forced out because he failed to report a minor gasoline spill at a government dock last summer. “I thought maybe a little prop would help,” Navitsky said. “I brought a gallon.”

At that meeting Commission Chair Bruce Young promised to follow his conscience in deciding Wick’s fate and by yesterday a compromise had been reached…

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