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St. Lawrence County names Ogdensburg man to emergency services post

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CANTON - An Ogdensburg man plans to accept the St. Lawrence County emergency services director position the Board of Legislators offered him.

Joseph Gilbert said he plans to start work in May.

“I am excited,” Mr. Gilbert said. “It’s a great opportunity.”

County Administrator Karen M. St. Hilaire emailed the legislators Friday evening to inform them of Mr. Gilbert’s decision.

Legislator Daniel F. Parker, R-Potsdam, who headed the search committee, said the panel sent the recommendation to Ms. St. Hilaire.

Mr. Parker would not say who else was interviewed for the position and declined to comment further.

Mr. Gilbert is a defense coordinator on Fort Drum and said he is very familiar with how to prepare for a disaster.

“Ninety-eight percent of all the work that happens is preparation,” he said. “You can’t wait until the disaster happens.”

He said his first step is do an assessment of the county before he sets any goals or makes any changes.

Board Chairwoman Sallie A. Brothers, D-Norfolk, said some legislators found out about Mr. Gilbert through the media.

“I don’t know how it was leaked,” she said. “I’m quite impressed with (Mr. Gilbert).”

Ms. Brothers said she is happy the county can move on after the controversy surrounding Martin Hassett’s resignation in February.

After resigning, Mr. Hassett hired an attorney in an attempt to get his job back.

Ms. St. Hilaire denied Mr. Hassett’s requests to withdraw his resignation and grant him a name-clearing hearing.

Ms. Brothers said she expects Mr. Gilbert to be appointed May 7 and begin working the next day.

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