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Restaino Hired By City For Part Time Legal Work

Kristen Grandinetti opposed Robert Restaino's appointment.

Attorney Robert Restaino has been hired by the City of Niagara Falls for the sum of $1,500 a month to "codify" the City Charter for an unspecified term.

The five-member Council voted 4-1 in favor of hiring the popular Niagara Falls lawyer, who was formerly a judge and an assembly candidate.

Councilmember Kristen Grandinetti cast the sole vote against hiring Restaino.

At first, Grandinetti wanted to table the measure. When she could not get a second vote to table it, she voted “no” to Restaino's hire.

Before voting, Grandinetti said she wanted more discussion on the matter. She said she had been criticized during her campaign for being too political and this hire “seems like a political hire.”

Chairman Charles Walker criticized Grandinetti’s statement, adding there was no politics involved and that Restaino was the best qualified for this necessary task. If Grandinetti had a problem, Walker said, she should have discussed it earlier with individual members of the council since the agenda item had been out since last Wednesday.

The charter is a legal document that defines how a city operates as opposed to blanket state or national laws governing cities.

Restaino's work involving codifying the charter is expected to save on long-term costs for enforcement, legal and efficiency issues, as well as open the door to certain modifications.

Sources say that Restaino is planning to run for mayor of Niagara Falls in 2015.



Niagara Falls Reporter - Publisher Frank Parlato Jr. www.niagarafallsreporter.com

Mar 18, 2014