Candidate Meets with Common Council for Commissioner of Human Resources Position

September 15, 2011 Updated Sep 15, 2011 at 6:40 PM EDT

By Kyla Igoe

September 15, 2011 Updated Sep 15, 2011 at 6:40 PM EDT

Buffalo, NY (WKBW) - East Amherst Resident Patricia Folts met Thursday with Buffalo Common Council Members to discuss why she's qualified to fill the vacant Human Resources Commissioner for the city and her plans to reform the department. Folts was nominated for appointment by Mayor Byron Brown and is awaiting official approval by the council. Folts says she has spent 20 years in the human resource field and previously served as the Vice President of Human Resources at LP Ciminelli, a local construction firm. Despite not having past government service, Folts says she's confidant she can reform the department.

"I would continue to behave ethically and work my conscious and do what's best for everyone with my recommendations," said Folts.

The city is being extremely cautious about selecting the right person for the job following a previous scandal. In January, former commissioner Karla Thomas was accused of paying out $2 million in health insurance benefits to retirees who had already died. Hundreds of thousands of dollars could not be recouped.

"That department needs an overhaul. It needs change and it needs a breath of fresh air," said South District Councilman Michael Kearns. "I'm hoping she can provide that leadership so we're not making the same mistakes as we have in the past."