CANTON — St. Lawrence County Legislator David A. Haggard, D-Potsdam, has resigned from his elected seat to take the position of General Counsel to the St. Lawrence County Department of Social Services.
“I have always been a major supporter of working to help vulnerable children in this county,” Mr. Haggard told the Times Thursday morning. “This was an opportunity that came up that allowed me to personally contribute to that rather than contribute in the way of just being supportive of the commissioner. So in other words, I can make an immediate personal impact.”
His first day in the position will be Monday.
In his resignation letter to Legislative Chairman Joseph R. Lightfoot, R-Ogdensburg, Mr. Haggard said it had been his honor to represent the citizens of District 10 and the people of Potsdam.
“The office of General Counsel must stand ready to serve the people of St. Lawrence County by promoting the safety, permanency, and well-being of children and vulnerable adults,” the letter reads. “It is for these reasons that I believe the position of General Counsel presents an opportunity to make an immediate, meaningful impact while continuing my service the citizens of St. Lawrence County. I thank my fellow legislators as it has been my pleasure and privilege to serve with each of you.”
During his 2018 campaign and subsequent election as legislator, filling a seat vacated by Joe A. Timmerman, a Republican who decided not to seek re-election, Mr. Haggard, a criminal defense attorney, said the greatest challenge facing the county is the constant export of its young people.
Mr. Lightfoot said he will create a committee of the legislative Democrats to pick a party member to fill the now vacant position left by Mr. Haggard.
“Years ago the legislature passed a local law and in that local law they set forth a procedure as to how to replace the position that a resigned legislator held,” Mr. Lightfoot told the Times Thursday.
He said the local law holds that the chairman of the board will appoint a committee of legislators who are in the same party of the lawmaker to be replaced. That committee will go about the task of finding a party member to replace the law maker.
“When they do that the board must act on it and the members of the board must vote in favor of the person who is brought forward according to the local law,” Mr. Lightfoot said.
That committee will be created Monday during the month full board of legislators meeting.