Still recovering from a heart attack, as far as his City of Lackawanna job is concerned, Thomas J. Radich got a contract extension Thursday night for another of his full-time jobs.
The Lackawanna Municipal Housing Authority's Board of Commissioners voted, 4-3, to extend Radich's contract through Jan. 31, 2008, at $66,000 a year.
Radich also makes about $43,000 a year as Lackawanna's sanitation supervisor and slightly more at his full-time job with the Erie County Water Authority.
Having suffered a heart attack last spring, Radich recently returned to work full time for the Housing Authority. But he continues using paid sick days from the city, according to Mayor Norman L. Polanski Jr.
"How is that possible?" Laverne Ware, tenant commissioner, asked during Thursday's reorganization meeting.
"I don't think it's pertinent to this at all," Radich responded. "I spend my time here."
Pressed on the issue of his absence from his city job, Radich said, "That's the mayor's problem."
With other Housing Authority members and residents asking questions, exchanges grew louder and more chaotic.
"Will you please be quiet!" Salvatore Monaco, board chairman, said to a woman who had identified herself as a resident. "We're conducting a meeting. We don't want any outbursts from you."
As the woman persisted, Monaco, his face reddening, stood up and shook his finger at her, saying, "You don't talk unless you're recognized."
But the questioning continued as the reorganization meeting was adjourned and the regular meeting called to order.
This time Joe DiCenzo, regarded in the city as a government watchdog, demanded answers.
"I'm not answering any city questions," Radich said. And when DiCenzo asked about the status of his Water Authority job, Radich replied, "That's not a housing question, either."
Exasperated, DiCenzo said, "He's double dipping, triple dipping."
In a telephone interview earlier Thursday, the mayor said he wasn't sure whether Radich had returned to work at the Housing Authority. A query earlier this month to Frank L. Bybel, the Housing Authority's counsel, went unanswered.
Since his heart attack, Radich has used roughly 120 of 240 accumulated sick days from his city job, the mayor said. Polanski said Radich wanted to use family medical leave, but wasn't entitled since he hadn't worked enough hours between his return last March from a leave of absence -- his third since being appointed the Housing Authority's executive director in February 2001 -- and the heart attack suffered in late May.
"Out of the two months he was here, he didn't work very much of that," Polanski said.
"He wants this job or he doesn't want it," Polanski said. "If he doesn't want it, he should resign."