Seneca Co. Emergency Management director resigns amid investigation

After one supervisor called it a ‘sad day’ for Seneca County – officials have confirmed that a temporary dismissal has resulted in a resignation.

In a statement to FingerLakes1.com on Thursday, Seneca County Manager John Sheppard said the following:

“Seneca County’s Director of the Emergency Management Office, Melissa Taylor, resigned from county employment on July 3, 2018. The resignation was given near the culmination of an internal investigation directed by myself. Deputy EMO Director, Toni DiGiovanni, will be leading the EMO until the path forward is further defined.”

The investigation, which was not clarified or detailed publicly by the County Manager, had been undertaken about a week-and-a-half ago.

Fayette Town Supervisor Cindy Lorenzetti and Varick Town Supervisor Bob Hayssen agreed that it was a puzzling set of circumstances. At the time, Hayssen called it a ‘sad day for Seneca County’ and went on to note that he would protect all County Employee’s First Amendment rights, as it pertained to speaking out about the County. “We will be the laughing stock of the Finger Lakes,” he said at the time. “This is County Government … not a military operation … not a dictatorship,” he continued. “It is supposed to be open government. We have lost that, sadly.”

Sheppard said that the resignation and end of the investigation happened ‘nearly simultaneously’.

The Board of Supervisors are set to meet on Tuesday, but it’s unclear what steps will be taken in the meantime to address the vacancy.

This story will be updated as more information becomes available.

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