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Picente Appoints New County Attorney & Personnel Commissioner

Attorney and Chuck Klein as Commissioner of Personnel.

“Amanda Cortese-Kolasz and Chuck Klein have served integral roles in Oneida County Government for years and have been essential to its successful operation,” Picente said. “Amanda’s legal expertise, management, and negotiating skills have helped guide us through challenging times and Chuck has been indispensable in increasing the efficiency of our workflow, improving our customer service, and securing our processes. I am certain they will excel in their new positions and continue to take this government to new heights.”

Cortese-Kolasz and Klein assumed their new roles on Jan. 17.

Cortese-Kolasz has been employed with Oneida County since 2011, having most recently served as Commissioner of Personnel since September 2021. Prior to that, she served as Deputy County Attorney-Administration and as an Assistant County Attorney. 

“I am grateful to County Executive Picente and honored for the opportunity to continue to serve his administration and Oneida County in this new position,” Cortese-Kolasz said. “I thank him for his confidence and trust in me and am eager to take on this challenging role to assist in executing his vision for this county.” 

During her county career, Cortese-Kolasz has served as lead counsel for labor and employment issues for Oneida County and Mohawk Valley Community College, counsel for the county’s Griffiss International Airport, handled administrative and contractual matters for all departments in county government, and has litigated several civil and family law matters. 

Before joining the Oneida County Law Department, she was in private law practice in both Oneida and Onondaga counties, concentrating primarily on matrimonial and family law. She started her career at the Hiscock Legal Aid Society.

Cortese-Kolasz received her bachelor’s degree from Hobart and William Smith College and her Juris Doctor from California Western School of Law.

She is a member of the Board of Directors for the New York State Public Employer Labor Relations Association (NYSPELRA) and is a member of the National Public Employer Labor Relations Association (National PELRA); the New York State Bar Association Labor and Employment Law and Local and State Government Law sections; the Oneida County Bar Association and the County Attorneys Association of the State of New York.

Cortese-Kolasz replaces Peter Rayhill who served nine years as county attorney before being elected to State Supreme Court this past November.

Klein joined Oneida County as Manager of Network Services in 2018, was promoted to Deputy Director in 2019, and became Director of Information Technology.

“I’m honored to be selected for the opportunity to lead the Department of Personnel,” Klein said. “I am excited to leverage my management, customer service, and IT background to fulfill County Executive Picente’s vision of continuing to improve upon the valuable services provided by this office to both Oneida County Government and the local jurisdictions.”  

During his tenure in IT, Klein modernized infrastructure by upgrading and replacing obsolete hardware and software, streamlined the Helpdesk operation by implementing a new platform to distribute the workload evenly and efficiently, and created departmental service levels to enhance customer service. He also expanded the County Executive’s shared services initiatives by providing IT services to the City of Sherrill, the towns of Verona and Marshall, and the Village of Verona.

Before joining the county he spent 24 years working in the student loan industry for Xerox, where he held many leadership roles including the role of Director of Information Technology for its education services.

Klein has an Associate degree in Computer Information Systems from Mohawk Valley Community College.

Oneida County Purchasing Director Alfred Barbato will oversee the Department of Information Technology until a permanent replacement is found to replace Klein.

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