County Lawmaker Appointed After Resigning: It's ComplicatedPosted: Updated:
One Lewis County lawmaker is back on the Board of Legislators after resigning last month.
Greg Kulzer was appointed to represent Lewis County's District 7 Tuesday night.
It's the seat he left vacant at the end of December.
Up until recently, Kulzer worked as a dairy specialist for the New York state Department of Agriculture and Markets.
For years, the department said he couldn't work for them and be an elected official, because it could be a conflict of interest. Kulzer fought it, but the state Court of Appeals ruled in the department's favor.
So, he retired from his state job on December 27, but it wasn't that simple. He had to resign from the Legislature, too, so his retirement benefits wouldn't be affected.
"We're tied in to the state retirement system as legislator, also, so you can't continue in that position," he said. "You have to retire from both and then come back on."
Essentially, it came down to deciding between his state job and the legislature. Kulzer says he chose his county position because he enjoys representing his district.
"After 35 years, it's been a pretty long career and I was getting kind of tired and I enjoyed this position and I was elected by the people," he said. "I felt I needed to continue doing what they asked me to do."
Kulzer says he might go back to work part time, but he's focused on being a lawmaker for Lewis County.