For Immediate Release

Monday, January 8, 2021

Picente Names 3 To Office Staff

Law Enforcement Veteran Al Candido to be Chief of Staff

Oneida County Executive Anthony J. Picente Jr. today announced three appointments to his staff:

Retiring Utica Police Department Capt. Alfred J. Candido Jr. as his Chief of Staff.

Former First Deputy County Clerk Judi Smith as Executive Secretary

Former Congressional Office District Staff Assistant Cassondra Rood as Assistant Secretary to the County Executive .

“Judi and Cassondra have outstanding experience in government so that my office can provide the people of Oneida County and our government partners with courteous, effective responses when they need services or come to our offices,” Picente said. “I am very pleased they will be using their talents to help me improve County Government .”

Smith has worked for Oneida County since 1994 in the Office of the Oneida County Clerk.  She served as a deputy county clerk from 1995 until 2006, when she became First Deputy County Clerk. Smith, of Utica , is a graduate of Proctor High School and HCCC.

Rood comes to County Government after a little over a year as a staff assistant in the district office of retired Congressman Sherwood Boehlert. Rood, of Marcy, is a graduate of Whitesboro High School , MVCC and SUNY Oneonta.

Picente said Candido, who submitted his retirement paperwork to the Utica Police Department in December, will begin work as Chief of Staff later this month.  Planning Department Director John Kent will serve as interim Chief of Staff.  “John has an outstanding knowledge of County Government and its workings,” Picente said. “He has been a great asset in the transition process and I look forward to having his input on a regular basis for the first few weeks of my administration.”

 “Al is an outstanding administrator who has an eye for detail and who also understands the big picture,” Picente said. “His appointment is part of my philosophy of taking a new look at county operations as well as my commitment to ensure that decisions impacting the people of Oneida County are made by those with extensive experience in dealing with the needs of at-risk people.”

Picente noted that Candido has close relationships with agencies and people who deal with the social services and human services needs of Utica ’s inner-city neighborhoods. “Al understands the problems that we in county government need to address, and will bring expertise, efficiency and a caring, concerned attitude to the process of governing,” Picente said. “He will also help County Government provide leadership in the important area of Homeland Security.”

Candido’s credentials include a BPS degree in criminal justice from SUNY Utica-Rome (1977), and a 1972 AAS degree in criminal justice from MVCC. Candido joined the Utica Police Department in 1973 as a patrolman. He is retiring as a Captain, a rank he has  held since 1993. As a Captain, he served as Commanding Officer of the Support Division, Evening Commander of the Patrol Division, Commanding Officer of the Uniform Patrol Division and Watch Commander. Since 2000, he has been an adjunct instructor at Utica College in the Social Sciences / Criminal Justice Division.  From 1988 to 2000 he was an adjunct faculty member at MVCC’s Social Science / Criminal Justice Department. He is also the immediate past board chair of the Utica Chapter of the American Red Cross.