of the local enactment are solely controlling. Otherwise, courts would be required to look beyond the four corners of any local enactment in each case. This would, in turn, lead to speculation, guesswork, and inconsistent results, as courts attempted to glean the intent of local legislative bodies throughout the state.
A requirement that local government be specific in formally adopting § 18, promotes the clear intent and purpose of § 18 which was to avoid uncertainty and confusion. It is also consistent with rules of statutory interpretation. Lloyd, 83 N.Y.2d at 545-46; Eaton, 56 N.Y.2d at 345(construing clear and unambiguous statutory language to give effect to the plain meaning of the words used); Duncan v. Perales, 135 A.D.2d 1127, 1128, 523 N.Y.S.2d 263 (4th Dep't 1987). When the statute says "by . . . adoption," it means "by adoption" and not "by implication."
In summary, placing the two legislative enactments, § 18 and Resolution 102, side by side, clearly reveals the plain meaning. The language of § 18 states that it only applies if a local governing body adopts its provisions. The language of Resolution 102 did not adopt § 18.
If the County desired to adopt § 18, it was, and still is, very simple - pass a resolution which states: "The County of Oneida adopts Public Officers Law § 18 in order to confer the benefits of the section upon its employees." By failing to enact a resolution with that or similar language, the County Legislature failed to adopt § 18 even if it intended to do so. Accordingly, the County Legislature, either knowingly or unknowingly, elected to provide for indemnification solely under local enactment (Resolution 102), and not pursuant to § 18.
Finally, the fact that the County Attorney, in either directly hiring private attorneys for employee/defendants and setting their fee, or requiring private attorneys retained by employee/defendants to receive only a set fee from the County does not present a conflict of interest. Mothersell v. City of Syracuse, 952 F. Supp. 112, 116 (N.D.N.Y. 1997).
Ray has no rights under § 18. His right to reimbursement for attorney's fees from the County flow solely as the result of the County's local enactment, to wit, Resolution 102. This, in turn, results in agreements between the County Attorney and those private attorneys who agree to represent employee/defendants. The County Attorney permits such employee/defendants to select their own private attorney if they so desire, but again, that attorney will only be reimbursed by the County at a set rate. A selected attorney, such as Ray, may refuse to represent the employee/defendant, accept the fee set by the County Attorney in full satisfaction of his time and effort, or make a separate agreement with the employee/defendant to supplement any monies paid by the County.
Because the County has not conferred the benefits of § 18 upon its employees, the provisions are not applicable to this case. There is no basis for Ray's motion. Therefore, it is
ORDERED that the motion is DENIED.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
David N. Hurd
United States Magistrate Judge
Dated: November 18, 1997
Utica, New York.