Utica, NY (WIBX) - Utica mayoral candidate Ernie Sanita says he 'baited' his opponents into showing that they don't know the laws of Utica.

Sanita says he purposely announced earlier in the campaign that he would not hire a public safety commissioner, as a way to save the city money. Sanita says he did this just to show the other candidates don't know the laws of the city.

In the City Charter it says the mayor 'shall' appoint a PSC, along with several other positions.

The second class cities law also says no one can hold more than one city office at the same time.

"The fact of the matter is, I've got two major opponents, a Republican and a Democrat, neither one of them knew after 45 years of combined experience that you must have a public safety commissioner," Sanita said. "I was waiting for my opponents to catch it. And they didn't."

Corporation Counsel Charles Brown says disagrees with Sanita's interpretation, saying previous mayors have acted as the Public Safety Commissioner in the past when there were absences at the position. Brown said the mayor wouldn't be considered to be holding two positions unless he was collecting both paychecks, adding the mayor could assume some of the PSC's responsibilities and/or assign them to others at city hall.

Sanita, meanwhile, says he chosen someone to be PSC if he is elected, and says this person has agreed to work for one-dollar and donate the rest of the money back to the city. Sanita, running on the Rainbow line, has said he would do the same.

Bob Cardillo (C,I), Michael Cerminaro (R), Robert Clemente (G), and Robert Palmieri (D,WF) and are also running for mayor of Utica.