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Gov. George E. Pataki has appointed Snyder attorney Mona Bargnesi as a commissioner of the state Workers Compensation Board, filling a vacant seat on the 13-member board.

During their seven-year term, commissioners hear workers compensation appeals and rule on settlement agreements involving on-the-job injuries.

Bargnesi, a 1993 graduate of Brown University and a 1996 graduate of University of Pittsburgh Law School, fills a seat left vacant by the death of commissioner Frank J. Ryan in January. The state Senate confirmed her appointment Tuesday.

Before her appointment, Bargnesi handled cases involving insurance and medical malpractice at the firm of Gibson, McAskill & Crosby in Buffalo. Before that, she worked as an assistant state attorney general from 1996 to 1999, according to compensation board spokesman Jon A. Sullivan.

Bargnesi joins other Western New Yorkers Karl A. Henry and Walter Shields on the compensation board. A speaker of Spanish and French, she has volunteered in bilingual education at the Buffalo Public Schools and at the Blind Association of Western New York, Sullivan said.

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