Lockport's DPW director relieved of his duties

James Neiss/staff photographer Lockport, NY - Police caught a man in the building after hours.

The city's director of public works was relieved of his duties by Mayor Michelle Roman on Friday afternoon. 

Reached by telephone Friday, Bryan Gazda, who began work as the director of public works on Nov. 5, 2018, confirmed that he met with Roman at 3:30 p.m. today. He said during that meeting she handed him a letter terminating his employment, effective next Friday. 

When asked for his initial reaction, Gazda said "obviously, I'm very surprised and more so disappointed."

Roman declined to comment on Gazda's termination, saying she "did not want to make any comments on personnel matters at this time." 

Gazda said Roman mentioned to him that she does not believe in provisional employments, noting that there is a civil service exam scheduled for May for the position. Gazda said Roman has brought up her reservations on provisional employments before the Friday meeting.  

Gazda said he can't comment on if he intends to apply to take the civil service exam, and that's he more focused on finding a new job right now.  

Gazda, who had a starting salary of $89,250, was responsible for overseeing the city parks, streets, building maintenance, water and sewer department. 

City officials spent months searching for potential candidates before voting to hire Gazda last year.

The city eliminated the public works director's post during its 2014 fiscal crisis, and city officials said restoring the position could improve efficiency and coordination across city departments.