Mayor Mark-Paul Serafin and his Attorney Tom Cerio, of Cerio Law Firm in Syracuse, stood before Judge Robert Jokl Nov. 3 to enter a not guilty plea and accept an arraignment date for Wednesday Jan. 19.
This week's court appearance was related to Serafin's first charge issued Sept. 21 for violating a Manlius village recycling law, which mandates that county-designated recyclables placed at or near curbs for collection purposes are the property of the village; no one else can collect or pick them up. The mayor was allegedly taking returnables from residents' blue bins placed outside for trash pick up.
Cerio said he believes the mayor's second court appearance for his Oct. 25 charge of the same offense will again be transferred in DeWitt court to avoid any appearance of conflict of interest, but has not received any official paperwork to date. Manlius village justices Joseph Greenman and Scott Kolden recused themselves from the first case.
When asked to comment, Serafin thanked the Manlius village residents for their support and encouragement during this time.
"Their words of comfort to me have just been outstanding and heartfelt," he said. "We'll get through this and I will be there for them as they are for me every single day, doing the best I can for the village of Manlius."