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Dyster chooses Morock, not Destino, for Falls IT job

NIAGARA FALLS – Mayor Paul A. Dyster announced Friday night that he has appointed Joseph R. Morock Jr. as the city’s new director of management information systems.

That choice means that former State Senate and mayoral candidate Johnny G. Destino lost out on that newly created $62,000-a-year post. The Buffalo News had reported last month that Destino was under consideration for the job.

The news set off some political fallout in the Falls, where Destino had run against Dyster in 2011, when Destino was a Republican. After losing a GOP State Senate primary to then-Sen. George D. Maziarz in 2012, Destino switched parties and ran for the Senate again as a Democrat last year. He lost to Republican Robert G. Ortt.

Destino had been a member of the Niagara Falls Board of Education, but he resigned in February.

Morock, 36, has been working in the Niagara Falls Police Department since September 2011 as systems administrator, managing all desktop, laptop and vehicle-based computers and maintaining the city-wide camera system, according to his page on the LinkedIn website.

“He’s well thought of in the police department. That’s a challenging department to administer,” Dyster said. In announcing the appointment, the mayor credited Morock with “helping to coordinate its innovative data-based strategies.”

In the private sector, Morock worked in technical support for Synergy Global from 2005 to 2010, and was information technology manager at Find It Quick for a year before joining the city.

The announcement continued, “He has the ideal skill set to bring the city’s technology portfolio into the modern age. We need to use technology to communicate with the public and coordinate city services more effectively. Web-based communications tools are no longer gimmicks for municipalities, they are necessities. We must work smarter, and I look forward to Joe leading the charge.”

The City Council does not have to vote on Morock’s appointment. The management information systems job is a mayoral appointment, exempt from civil service testing.

With Dyster, a Democrat, running for re-election this fall, some of his political critics taunted him over the news that a city job for Destino might be in the works. Dyster said the decision not to hire Destino was not a political response to the criticism.

“The decision to hire Joe Morock for this position was made on the basis of resumes, nothing more, nothing less,” Dyster said. Morock and Destino were among six candidates for the job.

Asked why Morock was chosen, Dyster said, “We don’t comment on personnel decisions. We don’t normally comment on candidates for positions.”

Destino could not be reached for comment Friday night.

Dyster said, “We have a number of other positions to fill, so I wouldn’t jump to conclusions. We have more stuff coming.”

Asked if that statement means Destino might get some other city job, Dyster wouldn’t comment.