A Tale of Two Résumés

Mark Diodate

New Council Secretary Changes Résumé After Being Called Out By Councilman Tompkins

Mark Diodate, the newly appointed administrative assistant to the Niagara Falls City Council, submitted two different resumes to the council, the Reporter has learned.

The two resumes are starkly different.

After Diodate’s first resume sparked questions about his failure to list a past employer, Diodate submitted a second resume to the council.

The Reporter acquired both resumes – which were officially submitted by Diodate as part of the process of getting hired for the position.

The Reporter discovered more than 20 discrepancies between Diodate’s first and second resumes.

All candidates were required to submit resumes for the administrative position, which was posted on the City of Niagara Falls website in January. Diodate submitted his first resume at that time.

Subsequent to that, council members conducted interviews for the almost $40,000 position. Diodate was one of eight candidates interviewed.

The interviews were conducted by four of five council members: Andrew Touma, Bill Kennedy, Ezra Scott, and Kenny Tompkins.

During the interview process, Councilman Tompkins noticed that, on Diodate’s resume, he had omitted his employment at H.W. Bryk & Sons., a plumbing and heating contractor, where, ironically, Tompkins was his former supervisor.

“It was not the best idea for him to leave it out, knowing that I was his boss,” Tompkins told the Reporter.

Tompkins informed other council members of the discrepancy. Chairman Touma decided to give Diodate an opportunity to address it and told Diodate he could withdraw the old resume and submit a new one.

“There were some discrepancies,” Touma told the Reporter, “so [Diodate] spent some time looking at it and made some adjustments. I’ll admit we weren’t pleased. Nobody was too pleased and it is not the best first impression.”

Councilman Scott told the Reporter, “when it was brought to our attention about the discrepancies, we addressed Mark and he owned up to it.”

Despite the discrepancies, the City Council met on January 17, and councilmembers voted 4 to 1 to appoint Diodate.  Only Tompkins voted against the hire.

Tompkins said at the council meeting, “Instead of doing what’s best for the taxpayers and hiring the person best qualified to do the job, we hired someone based on the old ‘who you know’ or ‘who cut a deal’ system.”

Scott however defended his choice, saying Diodate “was a very strong candidate, passionate, has a hunger, and really wants this position.”

Chairman Touma added that Diodate, “impressed all of us in the interview and has a lot of private sector skills.”

Shortly after Diodate’s appointment, the Reporter obtained both of Diodate’s résumés.

The Reporter discovered more than 20 discrepancies, some of which are minor; others significant either as omissions or inflating actual job titles.

Here are a few of the discrepancies the Reporter observed:

Hoy’s Plumbing Heating & Cooling

In Diodate’s first resume, he claims to be the sales manager of Hoy’s, where he “managed the entire sales team of 12 people.”

In Diodate’s new resume, he no longer claimed to be a manager. Instead his position was one of “sales” where he “Helped and assisted the sales/service team of 12 co-workers.”

His dates of employment at Hoy’s changed too.

In his old resume, he worked at Hoy’s from April, 2016 – September, 2017 [one year and a half]. In the new resume he worked only six months [April, 2017 – September, 2017].

In his old resume, Diodate failed to mention a job with Zenner & Ritter Home Services. In his new resume, he admitted he worked for Zenner from September, 2016 – April, 2017 [7 months].

In his old resume, he claimed to have worked at Hoy’s during the time he really worked for Zenner.

It was not the only job he forgot to mention.

Diodate neglected to mention a six month employment with Bryck & Sons in his old resume. Instead he covered up that period by extending his employment with Sales Consultants of Buffalo.

There was also a discrepancy regarding his position. On his old resume, Diodate said his position at Sales Consultants of Buffalo was that of “Regional Operations Manager, and he worked from January, 2006  – August, 2010 [3 years, 8 months].

In his new resume, Diodate no longer claimed he was “Regional Operations Manager,” but rather “internet researcher/regional sales.”

His employment duration was shortened by a year too:  from Jan.uary, 2006 – August, 2009 [2 years, 8 months].

After detailing some 20 plus discrepancies, the Reporter asked all five councilmen what they thought about the two startlingly different resumes.

Notwithstanding the changes to Diodate’s resume, the councilmen who voted for him stand by their choice.

That’s “a lot of changes,” Councilman Scott admitted.

“I was blown away by his interview. Competent, organized, and answered all of the questions,” said Councilman Kennedy.

Councilman Voccio, although not part of the interview process, said that, if he had it his way, there would not have been a position to fill at all, saying the council does not need an administrative assistant.

Councilman Tompkins, however, had another take on why Diodate got the job.

Tompkins called it a “political hire,” suggesting that union leader and Democratic committee member Chris Borgatti was pulling strings from behind the scenes to ensure Diodate got the job.

“Ezra is tight with Chris Borgatti, Kennedy is close with Borgatti, and so is Diodate, so somebody did somebody a favor,” Tompkins claimed. “Politics has no place in this job and politics has no place in a city like this.”

Councilman Scott disputed the accusation. “A lot of people are saying [Diodate] is ‘my guy,’ and I am really unaware of where they are getting it from… There were no deals being made and no favoritism. People said Diodate worked on my campaign. He had no involvement on my campaign and I did not even know him when I ran, so I think it’s being stretched a little.”

The Reporter contacted Borgatti for comment. Borgatti admitted to being “friends with Scott, Kennedy and Diodate.”

“I also have hundreds of other friends who don’t work for the city,” Borgatti said. “I’ve lived here my entire life. I have nothing to do with the day-to-day operations of the city. Sounds to me like [Tompkins] is making some stretches here to score political points. I’m not involved with that stuff.”

Scott went further in defending Diodate, saying he was hired strictly on the merits and that the changes in his resume from the one he originally submitted to the council, to the one he later changed it to after Tompkins called him out on his omissions, was of little consequence.

Scott said that Diodate “corrected [his resume] and rectified it. He didn’t run and hide from it. A lot of times things happen and people run and hide, but we confronted him about it and he addressed it head on and I can only respect that as a man. It was mostly the fact that I really respect Mark and appreciate his character and passion and that was what sold me on what made him the best choice for us. A lot of people are saying he doesn’t have the secretarial experience or credentials, but I believe he has a lot of life skills that are transferable and allow him to be a great executive assistant for the City of Niagara Falls.”

The Reporter contacted Diodate. After saying he would speak with this reporter, he evidently changed his mind and failed to return calls and messages over two days.

 

By: Nicholas D’Angelo

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