A former Chautauqua County legislator bound for duty in Operation Desert Shield criticized his Republican colleagues Wednesday on their choice of a successor to his seat.
Dennis Goggin of Clymer accused his party of "failing to hunt out some of the good council members they had in the district and appoint someone with some experience."
James E. Caflisch of Clymer was approved Dec. 19 as Goggin's replacement by the GOP committees in the Towns of Clymer, Mina, French Creek and Ripley, which make up the 21st Legislative District. However, Minority Democrats, with help from maverick Republican Robert Stanley of Ellery, mustered enough votes to defeat Caflisch's nomination.
Democrats claimed Caflisch had been approved as Goggin's successor before his resignation became official. They called it "blatant politics" because the GOP wanted a majority for a crucial budget vote, which the Democrats ultimately won.
Caflisch's name could come up again at the Legislature's Jan. 2 meeting. He could not be reached to comment Wednesday.
Goggin, whose Marine Corps Reserve unit was called to active duty Wednesday night, submitted a letter of resignation which the Legislature accepted Dec. 19. The former legislator is returning to Camp Lejeune, N.C., for more training.
Goggin's reserve status requires him to serve until November 1991, a month before his term on the Legislature was to expire. He expects he will stay on active duty through next November.