The Bellone administration has granted former Association of Municipal Employees president Cheryl Felice release time to work at the county union's $22 million benefit fund instead of her regular $79,900-a-year post as a criminal identification technician. The move inflamed her successor as president, Dan Farrell, who's threatening to sue and calls it "totally ridiculous" and a waste of county money.

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Felice, the fund's deputy administrator, has been working full-time in recent weeks in the health-related absence of the fund's administrator, said Paul Margiotta, acting county labor director, who defended the move.

Sheriff Vincent DeMarco said his office now must fill Felice's county job with another worker at overtime rates. -- Rick Brand