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Fisher Named Deputy County Executive, Baker May Step Down from Control Board

By Mark Scott

Buffalo, NY – Erie County Executive Joel Giambra has appointed his chief of staff, Bruce Fisher, as the new deputy county executive. Fisher succeeds Carl Calabrese, who announced his resignation last week.

"Bruce has been and will continue to be a major force in helping to shape our agenda," Giambra said. "Now he will take on the duties of working with our department heads to oversee the operations of Erie County government."

Giambra says Fisher played a key policy role in such issues as securitizing the county's annuity from the tobacco settlement and developing a plan for merging county and city governments.

In a written statement, Giambra said he will be announcing other changes in his organization in the coming days and weeks.

Meanwhile, a change at the top is pending on the state financial control board overseeing Buffalo finances. The Buffalo News reported Thursday that chairman Thomas Baker is expected to resign from the post in the coming weeks.

Sources say Baker has found it difficult to balance control board duties with his other jobs, including head of the John R. Oishei Foundation.

Governor Pataki could make a new appointment as early as next week, and Brian Lipke, head of Gibraltar Industries, is seen as a likely candidate.