Press-Republican

Local News

May 15, 2013

Cantwell calls departure 'very civil'

PLATTSBURGH — Former Plattsburgh Housing Authority Executive Director Lori Cantwell says her recent departure from that position was “very civil.”

Questions still remain about her dismissal, but officials are not talking.

“We can’t say anything right now; it’s part of the process,” Housing Authority Board of Commissioners Vice Chairman Clayton Morris said Tuesday.

Cantwell, 48, was asked to leave Housing Authority offices at 4817 South Catherine St. on Friday, May 3, when it was determined she would no longer be director.

Housing Authority Board of Commissioners Chairwoman Shirley O’Connell confirmed for the Press-Republican on Monday that Cantwell is no longer in charge of the agency but wouldn’t say anything else about the situation.

SURPRISED

Police Chief Desmond Racicot said Tuesday that the City Police officer assigned to the Housing Authority, Carman Rotella, was asked by Assistant Executive Director Mark Hamilton to attend the May 3 Housing Authority Board meeting because of a “personnel issue.”

At that meeting, it was determined that Cantwell would be replaced.

As to reports that she received an actual police escort from the building, Cantwell said Tuesday that “by contrast, my exit from the employer was very civil.”

Racicot said Cantwell has not been charged with anything nor is there any investigation.

“We (City Police) have no idea what is going on over there,” he said. “We were only told that she was asked to leave the premises.”

Rotella watched as Cantwell carried boxes from her office to her car and as she departed the property, Racicot said.

Cantwell said Tuesday in an email: “Boards and CEOs often have responsible and respectable differences of opinion regarding how an organization should run, which are not necessarily negative reflections on anyone but merely represent a difference of opinion or philosophy. That is simply what occurred here.”

SALARY UPPED

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