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ANDERSON RESCINDS RESIGNATION AS DIRECTOR OF DEVELOPMENT

Lance Anderson, city director of development, has rescinded his resignation that terminated one-third of his duties with the City of Salamanca, and cut his salary by $15,000.

Anderson resigned in a letter dated Sept. 23. Mayor Rosie Hoag revealed the action to the City Council a day later, during a closed-door meeting to discuss personnel matters.

Anderson's change of heart also was related by the mayor during a closed-door session, after Council's Wednesday night meeting.

Mayor Hoag announced the development to reporters by phone from her City Hall office. She offered no further explanation.

Commenting from his home, Council President Brad Whitcomb said: "I didn't know anything about it -- I'm surprised myself."

Anderson's resignation would have been effective Oct. 15. The Council had yet to take any action to accept it or replace him, and Whitcomb said he does not know if any action is needed.

Under the arrangement, Anderson splits his time among the city, the Local Development Corp. and the Industrial Development Agency, at $15,000 a year from each.

Controversy enveloped Anderson in August, when William D. O'Dell, Cattaraugus County Democratic Party chairman, raised allegations that Anderson purchased for his own financial gain 1.8 acres of land near exit 20 of the Southern Tier Expressway -- a site considered prime for development.

However, an investigation by City Attorney Ross Peters determined there was no wrongdoing.

The issue since has been taken up by the city's Ethics Committee, headed by Alderman William Taylor, who said there are several more people to interview before a report is issued.

And Anderson may be considering a suit over the controversy.

At Wednesday's Council meeting, Taylor unveiled the contents of a letter from Olean attorney Edward J. Wagner, who said Anderson is "contemplating civil action (against Taylor) for defaming him and for interfering with his professional livelihood."

". . . Our final decision on that action will await the outcome of future development, which we will be monitoring closely. In an effort to mitigate damage you have already caused to his reputation, a retraction of all prior statements is expected," the letter continued.

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