Farrell's claims are disingenuous
Just a month ago, I read a News article concerning Judge Mark Farrell ("Amherst breaks rules to grant insurance," Aug. 26). In reflecting on that article, I acknowledged that Farrell may have an earnestly held, if false, belief that someone had told him that he was exempt from the town's human resource policy with respect to post-retirement medical benefit coverage. However, I found it hard to believe that a person whose occupation is the law would rely on a verbal commitment rather than formal documentation. Farrell knew, or should have known, the importance of securing clear and incontrovertible evidence of the granting of the exception.
I now read in the Sept. 23 News that Farrell claims that, again, someone granted him an exemption from the town's resolution, passed unanimously, two years ago stating that "each judge is terminating his outside practice and teaching responsibilities in order to accommodate the additional court day." This is beyond the pale.
I find it disingenuous that a judge would continue to purport that he relies on verbal statements in pleading exemptions from formal municipal policies and rulings. Who has the authority to make such exemptions from Town Board actions to Farrell? He should know that such statements, while perhaps well-intentioned, do not carry the weight of law. Or am I missing something?
The Amherst Town Board needs to reassert its legitimate authority and get back to enforcing its policies and resolutions. I am not in favor of inmates running the asylum.
Lee C. Broad