Mayor Yepsen Reneges And Entangles Herself

At the June 16 City Council meeting there was a discussion of a letter sent to the Attorney General, Eric Schneiderman, regarding the controversy over the deal for the city to purchase land from Joel Aronson for the new eastside emergency services building and for selling land downtown to Mr. Aronson. Following accusations that the city had failed to properly handle the deal and the announcement that Ray Watkin, Tom McTygue, and Remigia Foy were suing the city over the matter, the Attorney General initiated an investigation.

The investigation has dragged on for months as has the lawsuit. The letter, signed by Commissioners Madigan, Scirocco, Franck, and Mathiesen urged the Attorney General to complete the investigation. The letter noted that the issue was being exploited politically running up to the November election and that the Attorney General needed to complete the investigation to resolve the issue prior to the election. It also noted that the city had spent significantly to address both the Attorney General’s investigation and the suit and that the longer this went on, the greater the expense.

Commissioner Mathiesen noted that Mayor Yepsen had agreed to be a signatory and had later refused to sign the letter. He asked if she would explain why. She asserted that the letter had been delivered to her office by one of the deputies of another commissioner “demanding” her signature and when she read the letter she determined she could not sign it. When it was pointed out to her that the letter had been read to her at an earlier meeting and she had strongly endorsed it and agreed to sign it, things got very strange. Readers of this blog are urged to watch the video on the city’s web site. Rather than admit that she had originally agreed to sign she entangled herself in a defense that became more and more bizarre. It included the statement that the law suit had been dropped months ago.  This stunned the other members of the council who asked the obvious question: why had no one been told?  When pressed on this issue the city attorney, who works out of her office, was called to the microphone and indicated that in order to drop the suit there would have had to have been a court filing and the mayor’s office would have been notified. No such notification had been received.  Things just got stranger as the mayor, while trying to extricate herself from this gaff, entangled herself more.

There is much more and this summary does not do the episode justice. To watch the spectacle:
Click on this link:

You cannot make this stuff up.

3 thoughts on “Mayor Yepsen Reneges And Entangles Herself”

  1. Let’s set the record straight. The 3 people who filled the lawsuit did ask for it to be set aside until the AG had made a decision. This was reported in the Gazette on March 12 by Justin Mason and in the Times Union on June 19. The question everyone should be asking is why Commissioners Madigan and Mathesian did not know this. The behavior of these Commissioners to Mayor Yepsen is outrages. The charter calls for civil behavior at the council table but they do not seem able to do this..

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    1. Ms. Messier (Karen Klotz), thank you for your post. I was unable to locate Justin Mason’s article which you reference as appearing on March 12. According to my search of the Gazette, Mr. Mason is no longer with them and his last post was on March 11 and it was not on the suit. For the benefit of the readers of this blog, could you post a link to the article? As regards the June 19 article in the Times Union, I did find an article dated June 18 by Dennis Yusko and it does state that the plaintiffs in the suit had asked that their action be deferred until the state investigation was completed. I am assuming that this is the article you were referring to. Unfortunately, this article appeared two days after the council meeting. In addition, Mayor Yepsen said, “The law suit is no longer being pursued…it’s done.” This was stated clearly and with force. This can be viewed by going to 58:15 minutes on the web site. You can see how stunned everyone is. It is important to note that at the meeting when asked by Michelle Madigan about whether the suit could be set aside, the city attorney is very specific. He tells the council that “The time line for Judge Seitz’s decision is neither up to the plaintiff nor the defendant. To the extent that the AG office may have encouraged the plaintiffs to not progress, that could be. “When asked by Madigan whether there was a legal term called a “set aside,” the city attorney answered, “no.”

      What is crystal clear is that the suit has not ended and that the plaintiffs request to have the action deferred has preserved right to continue their action.

      As for the lack of civility by the members of the city council, I encourage the readers of this blog to view the video and decide for themselves.

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  2. I misspoke about the date. It was March 13th not the 12th. I have no idea why you couldn’t find the article and I cannot link it because I am not a computer expert as you are. I listed the TU article because it also spoke about the 3 people who filed the lawsuit as asking to have it set aside. This was common knowledge. Why did the Commissioners badger the Mayor about this. You say when you ask for our emails that you will not reveal them but you did just that tonight. I did not wish to give my name but you did it for me. I should know better. I should not have written but it is so hard when you see half truths.

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