The Shoe Falls: Sheriffs Sue County Over Covid Pay Fiasco

In the August 24, 2020, edition of the Times Union, Wendy Liberatore reports that the union representing the Saratoga County Sheriff Deputies have filed a suit against Saratoga County. Their suit is to recover lost wages taken from their paychecks without notice.

The union alleges that because the county ended the time-and-a-half policy in a meeting that violated the Open Meetings Law, they continue to be eligible for the additional pay.

Dan Sisto is a labor consultant who works on behalf of the union. Sisto cites Sheriff Michael Zurlo’s inability to remember pretty much anything that occurred during the pay fiasco.

Sisto told the Times Union:

“We have a lack of confidence right now in the leadership,” Sisto said. “It’s not that they are necessarily bad people, but the difficulty we have working through issues — in addition to the glaring inability to recall factual information at appropriate times as demonstrated in the report — is disheartening at best. … The sheriff, he didn’t really do anything to facilitate anything good or bad. He just sat there like a potted plant.”

Referencing Human Resources Director Margaret McNamara who alleged that she had told the unions about ending the bonus on March 19, Sisto said, “that they weren’t going to lie to cover up for their mistakes.”

They tried to place the bullet back in the gun. Basically, they said, ‘We forgot to say it on the 19th, so let’s just say we did.’ The facts don’t  match up to the story.


Sisto alleges that the failure of the county to adhere to required procedures regarding their pay make them vulnerable to the union’ s litigation.

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