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Former Erie County legislator Morton gets job at Board of Elections

Another former Erie County legislator has landed a job at the Erie County Board of Elections.

Former Legislator Ted Morton, R-Cheektowaga, went to work earlier this month as a full-time election clerk. He lost his re-election bid in November following two terms in the Erie County Legislature.

Former Legislator Betty Jean Grant, D-Buffalo, whose hiring was previously announced, will begin part-time work next month doing voter outreach work. She retired from the Legislature at the end of last year.

Morton's full-time position pays about $40,000 a year, said Republican Elections Commissioner Ralph Mohr.

"I knew he was looking for a job. It was kind of a mutual thing," Mohr said when asked if Morton asked for the job or if Mohr sought him out.

The election clerk position Morton assumed was vacant because of a retirement. Morton should do well in the position because it requires communication and work with town political committees who recommend elections inspectors to the board, Mohr said.

"He has knowledge of the political players," Mohr said. "You have to have a familiarity with the particular people who are involved in party politics."

Aside from serving as a county legislator, Morton worked as a financial planner before being forced to sell his client list to settle debts. He ran afoul of industry rules by borrowing about $315,000 from seven of his clients between 2009 and 2012. He was fined and suspended for six months by the Financial Industry Regulatory Agency in 2013 and fired as a contractor with LPL Financial.

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Mohr and Democratic Elections Commissioner Jeremy Zellner said the Board of Elections relies on thousands of elections inspectors each year and always struggles to recruit more.

Grant said she is two years shy of having 20 years in the New York State pension system and sought the elections job so she can reach 20 years.

Zellner previously said that Grant also will work to recruit election inspectors.

"She's got particular expertise in the community being a leader, and we need someone to focus on engaging the community," he said. "It's hard to find someone of her caliber, who is so entrenched in the community. People need to be involved in this democracy if it's going to work, and I can't think of a better person than Betty Jean Grant to make that happen."

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