TROY — The city continues to lose a council member following the abrupt decision to withdraw a resolution that would have replaced a former lawmaker who pleaded guilty to federal criminal charges last week.

Now lawmakers are gearing up for what could be a protracted process to replace ex-Councillor Kimberly Ashe-McPherson, who resigned from City Council the day after her guilty plea to a federal criminal charge related to her submission of ballots. fraudulent postal vote last year elections.

The city council was to hold a special meeting Friday to appoint a Democrat to replace Ashe-McPherson, a Republican.

Yet a resolution to tap Steven Figueroa for the vacancy, a move backed by Mayor Patrick Madden and three Democratic lawmakers, was withdrawn after a council member was unable to attend the meeting, stripping the Democrats a crucial vote.

“We hope a date can be set next week when all members can be present to consider the resolution,” Councilwoman Sue Steele wrote on social media.

Republicans, who held a 4-3 majority before Ashe-McPherson resigned, are calling for an open process to fill the vacancy.


“It’s our responsibility and right in the legislative function,” city council president Carmella R. Mantello said Sunday. “If there is a tie, it is the job of the mayor [to break gridlock]. But now, let’s put in place a process that involves the residents of District 2.”

Mantello and fellow Republicans Jim Gulli and Irene Sorriento are calling for a bipartisan committee to meet with residents and community stakeholders before filling the vacancy.

The trio launched a call for entries on Saturday with a deadline of June 22.

“We’ll ask questions and see how the people of District 2 feel and take it from there,” Mantello said.

Mantello said she had already heard of three potential candidates.

Madden and Democratic City Council members Steele, Emily Menn and Kiani Conley-Wilson had agreed to sponsor the bill nominating Figueroa.

Figueroa failed to win the seat last November, losing to Ashe-McPherson by 142 votes, 582-440.

The candidate said Sunday he respects calls for a bipartisan committee, but said he already believes he has a mandate from voters in the city’s north-central neighborhood.

Figueroa, citing his community service and volunteer work organizing food drives and coaching youth basketball, said he was already known to residents.

“I brought in a lot of voters, so I don’t know what else [Mantello] wants to see from the North Central community,” Figueroa said.

Figueroa also said an extended vacancy would block the legislation.

“As we speak, no one is representing the district now, and that’s not good,” he said.

Ashe-McPherson, 61, became the first person to face criminal charges in the FBI’s ongoing investigation into allegations of voter fraud in Rensselaer County. The ex-lawmaker, first elected in 2015, has admitted fraudulently submitting absentee ballots in last year’s primary and general elections as she sought re-election.