Bill Rohr, a grant writer, is the latest to flee the administration of Mayor Lou Rosamilia.
Rohr follows the departure of City Engineer Russ Reeves who resigned amid two controversial demolition projects – one on King Street and the other at the King Fuels site in South Troy. Also, Reeves assistant, Barbara Tozzi, a 30-plus year employee, also retired.
While the administration didn’t quite hang Reeves out to dry, it fell well short of backing him up when questions arose about the projects.
It was no secret Rohr wasn’t happy about the way Reeves was treated and while he didn’t abruptly resign, he did start exploring other options. Obviously, one of the options turned out to be better than staying in City Hall, where he has been writing grants for nine years.
Reeves and Tozzi voluntarily testified at the ongoing Council investigation into the demolition projects. Since there have been two other hearings one featuring the owner of the King Street buildings, attorney Don Boyajian, the crew that did some demolition work at the South Troy site and former Mayor Harry Tutunjian.
Tutunjian said Boyajian contacted him in 2011 about the King Street properties to inquire about an emergency demolition. Tutunjian said he refused to consider it since there was no justification. Some two years later, Fire Chief Tom Garrett ordered the buildings demolished while Reeves was on vacation.
Boyajian said “miscommunication” was running rampant in City Hall.
As for the South Troy demolition, the owner of DiTanno and Sons admitted the crew did not follow the demolition plan as approved by an engineer - which really comes as no surprise given the footage that was leaked.
The next hearing will feature some City Hall employees, who will, according to a deal struck by Rosamilia and Council President Rodney Wiltshire, testify voluntarily and not via subpoena.