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Manlius mayor ticketed twice, suspected of food theft

Why?

That is the question foremost on the mind of Manlius resident Steve Corinis when it comes to Mayor Mark-Paul Serafin's puzzling behavior.

On Sept. 21, Serafin, 52, was ticketed for violating a village recycling law for allegedly removing returnables from blue bins outside residents' homes for trash pick up. He was ticketed again Oct. 26 for committing the same offense.

"I think it's unfortunate," said Corinis about the mayor's repeated offenses. "Why is he doing it? What's the motive here? What's he trying to get at?"

The village recycling law mandates 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.

Last month, the Eagle Bulletin reported that Serafin said in a Sept. 22 Post Standard interview he'd been collecting bottles and cans for about 10 years to help pay for his dog's medical bills. After his Labrador, Bacchus, died this summer, Serafin said he began to phase out his collections. Serafin was also noted as saying that most village residents knew of his actions - it became an avenue for interaction to discuss ideas and village concerns.

The town of Manlius Police Department responded to an Aug. 24 complaint against the mayor, which launched an investigation that found enough information to issue a criminal summons. Another complaint, made by a different resident resulted in his second ticket.

Serafin's initial court date for his first offense was set for Oct. 7 and was adjourned for two weeks by the request of his attorney, Tom Cerio, of Cerio Law Offices in Syracuse. The case has since been transferred to the town of DeWitt because village justices Joseph Greenman and Scott Koldin recused themselves.

The village attorney typically acts as prosecutor for cases involving village law offenses, but the Onondaga County District Attorney's office rescinded its authorization to the village and has instead assigned Chief Assistant District Attorney Alison Fineberg.

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