Cape Vincent resident Darrel J. Aubertine announced Friday he has resigned as commissioner of the state Department of Agriculture and Markets, and his last day on the job will be Wednesday.
Aubertine, a former state senator representing Northern St. Lawrence
County, said he turned in his letter of resignation last week for the
position, after serving three years. He is now considering three job
opportunities, one of which is in the public sector.
motivation behind this decision was there were a couple of
opportunities that have come along,” Mr. Aubertine said. “I have three
other opportunities I’m considering and am weighing them and looking
Mr. Aubertine said he met with Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo
about a month ago to talk about the future of the Department of
Agriculture and Markets. He made the decision to resign at that time.
sat down face-to-face with him about a month ago and had a good
conversation about where the agency would go in the future,” he said.
“The fact that I would explore other opportunities was discussed, and we
left on very good terms. The governor and his administration has done
more for the industry than any other administration I’ve worked for in
the past — governor Patterson, Spitzer or (Mario) Cuomo.”
September, speculation about Mr. Aubertine’s resignation was caused by a
column in the New York Post written by state editor Frederic U. Dicker.
Mr. Dicker claimed Mr. Aubertine would resign because he was
dissatisfied with how the agency was managed by the Cuomo
administration, feeling “cut off” and told what to do.
know where Mr. Dicker got his information, but I can say that I’ve
enjoyed my tenure as commissioner and the governor and I are on good
terms,” Mr. Aubertine said in response to the claim.
agriculture industry made great strides over the past three years during
his time as commissioner, Mr. Aubertine said. While the industry has
taken a backseat role in the past, it has taken center stage in Albany.
you look back three years ago the profile agriculture was given in the
economy compared to how it looks today, I believe it enjoys a much
higher profile,” he said. “People want to buy locally more today in the
economy, and I think they have that opportunity. We’ve seen the
expansion of the Greek yogurt industry and growth of wine, spirits, beer
He added that staff at the department impressed him by their hard work and knowledge.
sometimes easy to paint public service in a bad light. But I can say
firsthand that, by and large, the people in the agency I’ve had the
privilege to run are good people,” Mr. Aubertine said. POST