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DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR RESIGNS AFTER PROBE

Lance Anderson, city director of development, has resigned his duties with the City of Salamanca, which pays one-third of his salary.

Anderson resigned in a letter dated Tuesday. The letter was disclosed by Mayor Rosie Hoag to the City Council Wednesday evening behind closed doors, during a session to discuss personnel matters.

Earlier this month, City Attorney Ross Peters announced the results of his investigation into allegations that Anderson was acting illegally when he worked to develop his own city property on city time.

William D. O'Dell, Cattaraugus County Democratic Party chairman, raised allegations during a City Council meeting last month, saying that Anderson purchased 1.8 acres near exit 20 of the Southern Tier Expressway, considered to be a prime spot for future development.

But Peters said Anderson was innocent of any wrongdoing and did not use confidential information for personal gain but used "poor judgment" by not telling the City Council he had plans to develop a small plaza and to move his business there. Anderson operates a camping store selling canoes and related items on Broad Street extension near the expressway.

Anderson said he will quit his city duties as developer for the city Oct. 15, giving up a $15,000 salary "due to the lack of support by certain Council members for nearly 2 1/2 years."

He said he will continue to work as executive director for the city's Industrial Development Agency and Local Development Corp., each of which also pays him $15,000.

Anderson and his staff are today vacating their offices in City Hall and moving into IDA-owned property on Rochester Street.

Meanwhile, Alderman William Taylor has activated the city's Ethic Committee to look into Anderson's activities. Other members of the panel are William Green and Kathy Nickola.

Taylor would not discuss the nature of their investigation or when they will report their findings. He said he does not want to duplicate Peters' efforts.

In a related matter, some directors of the IDA on Thursday were calling for a board meeting to learn more about the situation and the absence of a work contract between Anderson and the IDA.

Still unknown is if Anderson has a legal contract with the city.

City Clerk April Vecchiarella said although the City Council voted last month to direct Mayor Rosie Hoag to sign a new contract with Anderson, she has not done so. Ms. Vecchiarella said if the mayor does not sign after 10 days the contract goes into effect anyway.

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