At a special meeting held Wednesday night, the Salina Town Board determined in executive session that comptroller Daniel Nolan had never executed his oath of office for 2006 and was thus not an employee of the town.
Every town employee is required to sign the oath of office within 30 days of their appointment, Supervisor Charles Iavarone said. Mr. Nolan never executed his. Therefore, he is not an employee of the town of Salina and the comptroller's office is vacant.
Some speculated that the decision was a move made based on a technicality so that Nolan, who is facing drug charges, could be let go from employment by the town without being fired.
The town called a special meeting for Wednesday Dec. 27 to discuss Nolan's fate. The comptroller was placed on paid leave on Dec. 20 after being arrested at Hancock International Airport for possession of cocaine. Since his arrest, many in the town have been calling for his removal from office.
"I can't condemn him for having a drug problem, but it's not cancer," Salina resident Mike Cavallo said. "The taxpayers shouldn't have to pay for this. I don't want him to be on paid vacation. The town can't ask the taxpayers to do it."
Cavallo got his wish when the town board returned from a 50-minute executive session in which they heard from town auditors and reviewed other records pertaining to Nolan's employment. Iavarone announced that, since Nolan had never signed the oath, he was not actually an employee of the town.
"He never took the oath of office," Iavarone said. "It's the officer's responsibility to take the oath. We review it at the end of every year to see who needs to take the oath for the following year. Since he never did so for 2006, he is no longer on the payroll as of tomorrow."