PORT LEYDEN — Village Superintendent Robert Matuszczak was back on the job Monday, reinstated after Friday’s termination due to an allegation of a larceny involving highway materials.
Trustee Janice Belmont confirmed Monday evening that Mr. Matuszczak had been reinstated. She had no comment in regard to his termination.
Accused of the theft and fired less than an hour later without an investigation, Mr. Matuszczak discussed the incident that led to his firing in an interview Monday afternoon.
At 7:56 a.m. Friday, Mr. Matuszczak received a phone call from Mayor Sandra J. Sexton about what he described as a small amount of driveway mix, equivalent to about a wheelbarrow full.
That material, he said, had been loaded into his personal vehicle and driven off by his son, to be placed in a hole near the son’s mailbox.
“There was a rut in front of the mailbox. The mailman had been hollering about it,” Mr. Matuszczak said.
Immediately after the truck left, “the mayor called me and said I can’t do that,” he said. “I said I’d gladly pay for it. I said send me a bill and she said OK.”
Instead of a bill, Mr. Matuszczak received a phone call 38 minutes later.
“She called me back and said I was officially fired. She said they’d held a board meeting,” Mr. Matuszczak said.
In addition to the speed of the decision, which left him without an opportunity to explain himself, Mr. Matuszczak took exception to the report filed with Lewis County sheriff’s deputies that said he’d stolen a truckload of gravel.
“It’s a ’98 Chevrolet,” he said of the truck used to move the driveway mix. “It’s all rusted up. I wouldn’t dare put a load of gravel in it.”
Ms. Sexton’s report to police did not request an investigation or an arrest. It did say Mr. Matuszczak had been fired as a result of the allegation and asked deputies to advise him not to contact and/or harass her.
Mr. Matuszczak has served the village for 27 years and was set to retire June 26.
He said he expects to serve for a period of time after his retirement, to assist the newly named superintendent, Joshua Marmon, in readying the village pool for the season.
The village board will meet for its regularly scheduled monthly meeting at 7 p.m. today.