DEC chief fired after memo on jobs

ALBANY -- Pete Grannis, state Department of Environmental Conservation commissioner, was fired effective immediately Thursday in the wake of an agency memo that was critical of layoffs planned at the agency.

Jessica Bassett, a spokeswoman for Gov. David Paterson, confirmed the firing of Grannis, a former state assemblyman from Manhattan who has led the agency since 2007.

She declined further comment.In a telephone interview Thursday night with the Gannett Albany Bureau, Grannis said he was contacted Wednesday by Paterson's top deputy, Lawrence Schwartz, and was asked for his resignation because the memo became public.

But Grannis said he decided Thursday that he would not resign and said he didn't release the memo to the media, which reported on its details this week. He was then fired.

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