Can Workers Comp. Board leave Albany?

A sharp reader pointed out a potential problem in the state’s plan to relocate the Workers Compensation Board from its offices on Park Street in Albany to 328 State Street in Schenectady: the law dictates that its “principal office” must be in Albany.

Here’s the relevant section of law:

§  146.  Offices of the board. The principal office of the board shall
  be in the city of Albany.  There shall be also an office in the city  of
  New  York  and  at  such  other  place  or places in the state as may be
  required properly and conveniently  to  transact  the  business  of  the
  board.  The  board may meet and exercise any or all of its powers at any
  place in the state.

The e-mail from WCB Executive Director Jeffrey Fenster announcing the change to employees makes note of this, saying the Board “will continue to maintain a presence in the City of Albany.” But a paragraph earlier in that missive, which we posted yesterday, Fenster describes a move of WCB’s “primary administrative offices” to Schenectady. I’m unclear how this will be reconciled, and exactly what the “presence” will entail. For example, whether Fenster will remain in Albany.

Fenster referred a call to his spokesman, who e-mailed this statement in Fenster’s name, and wouldn’t elaborate further about that “presence.”

“Any move being considered by the Board is in compliance with existing law and regulations,” Fenster said. (Phew.) “Further, any move will result in significant cost savings to the state. Additional details will be provided in the future when the move is finalized.”