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Westphal appointed Cayuga County Attorney after Palermo’s resignation last week

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  • Staff Report 

In a recent turn of events, Fred Westphal has been reappointed as the Cayuga County Attorney, a position he previously held over five years ago. The Cayuga County Legislature convened a special meeting on Tuesday to confirm Westphal’s appointment, succeeding Chris Palermo who resigned last Sunday. The decision to hold a special meeting, as opposed to waiting for the regular legislative meeting, sparked questions among legislators but was defended as a necessary step to promptly fill the vacancy.


Westphal’s appointment was met without opposition, though the timing of the special meeting raised queries from Legislator Hans Pecher. Chairwoman Aileen McNabb-Coleman emphasized the urgency of filling the position to continue the county’s work without delay. Westphal brings over 30 years of experience in the county attorney’s office, including 14 years as the county attorney, showcasing his extensive background and familiarity with the role.

Having started his career as an assistant county attorney in 1989 and serving as the first full-time county attorney from 2004, Westphal’s reappointment marks a significant return to a role he resigned from in 2018. His term as county attorney is set to run through 2027, with a salary of $128,410, indicating the county’s confidence in his abilities to lead and navigate legal challenges.