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June 19, 2013

Edmond Marchi deserves blessing, not curses

The Daily Star

---- — It has been anything but a smooth ride for Edmond Marchi, who resigned last week as administrator of Otsego Manor, the county’s nursing home, and the end of the ride hasn’t exactly been easy, either.

Marchi was criticized by some members of the Otsego County Board of Representatives, among others, after taking a $107,000-a-year job running the Glendale Home in Schenectady County, officials said Wednesday.

Given the decision by the Otsego County Board to sell the 174-bed Manor to a private entity, it seems patently unfair to fault Marchi for finding employment. He gave proper notice, and is certainly entitled to make a living.

That Marchi found it necessary to leave the financially untenable facility is sad. He has done an admirable job of running the county nursing home.

That has not always been our opinion.

In July of 2007, after he was suspended by the board for a series of legal and substance-abuse problems, including being found drunk at work, The Daily Star called for Marchi to be fired.

“On the surface,” we opined, “it certainly seems Marchi should lose his position, with a DWI conviction combined with being intoxicated at a job overseeing nursing-home patients and staff. …”

Marchi’s job was saved largely because he was protected by federal and state disability laws. In addition, many Manor residents signed petitions supporting him.

He checked into Tully Hill Chemical Dependency Treatment Center near Syracuse and enrolled in a 12-step program. In a 2009 interview with The Daily Star, he acknowledged that he could not control his drinking, no matter what kind of private deal he made with himself.

“In the past, I had made all kinds of attempts to control, reduce, contain my drinking habits,’’ he said. “I’d say I was only going to drink beer, only drink on the weekends, stop drinking at this hour or that hour. I even enrolled in a program for a period of time in the ‘90s, but if you’re not ready, it just isn’t going to work — no matter what you’re trying to change.’’

It took a lot of courage and fortitude for Marchi to straighten out his life.

“I’ve been sober now for more than two years,’’ Marchi said in that 2009 interview. “Feb. 6, 2007 was the last time I ever had alcohol in my body.’’

We are glad that by returning to be an effective and popular administrator that Edmond Marchi proved us wrong in recommending his dismissal.

“I think it’s taught me you shouldn’t give up on people too easily,’’ Board Chairman James Powers said in 2009. “Sometimes they change.’’

We wish Mr. Marchi happiness and continued success in his career.