UTICA, N.Y. -- Utica mayoral candidate Joe Marino held a news conference Wednesday outside the Utica Police Department regarding concerns with health insurance coverage for families of police officers.
"There is no excuse whatsoever to strip away healthcare for family members of police officers that have been hurt in the line of duty while protecting our streets. So whatever the mayor has as a basis I can disagree before he even doesn't answer your question," said Marino.
He says if an officer is injured on the job, the commissioner of public safety can grant or deny a three-month extension for family health insurance. Marino says Mayor Robert Palmieri appointed himself the public safety commissioner when he took office, and if he is elected, he will seek a more qualified person for the position.
Palmieri did not comment on Marino's claims, but the Utica PBA says Palmieri has never denied health coverage to any family members of police officers. The police union has publicly endorsed Palmieri for mayor, and say as commissioner, he has made concessions so family members can keep their existing coverage.