Litigation On The City Emails: Getting Beyond Conspiracies

There was a front page story in the Saratogian and a story in the Times Union about the city’s litigation regarding redacted emails that were sent between the city center and members of the city council.  The Pedinottis who own the Mouzon House are asking the courts to compel the city to reveal redactions in emails they FOILed the city for.

The contrast between the Saratogian’s story and the Times Union’s is striking.  Reading Ms. Liberatore’s sensationalized stories reminds me of the Damon Runyon quip, “Newspapers? They wrap fish in them.”

As always, there is another side to this story which is apparently too complex or does not serve Ms. Liberatore’s agenda which is to use the platform of the Times Union to gin up stories.

The Pedinottis are suing the city of Saratoga Springs along with the City Center over the planned parking facility.  The city has an excellent attorney in Vince DeLeonardis. 

The key issue here is that the city is being sued and their attorney in order to protect it, is going to limit wherever legally possible, access to documents sought by the litigant.  Anyone with any experience in these matters fully knows this.  I spoke to Chris Mathiesen about where the council stood on this litigation and he assured me that the council had been unanimous in their support of the city attorney in this matter.  Ms. Liberatore has been reckless in her coverage of this story.  To read her story one would conjure up conspiracies between Commissioner Madigan and the City Center as though the rest of the city council did not exist. 

 Ms. Liberatore knew when she solicited comments from Mayor Yepsen that she would play to the conspiracy crowd.  I am sorry but it was no oversight that she did not solicit comments from other members of the council.  They would have told her about the unanimity behind the city’s legal action and by unanimity I mean that Mayor Yepsen supported the litigation.  I know that this will generate a great deal of heat but the truth is that Mayor Yepsen supported the city’s litigation…before she didn’t.  This, unfortunately, is not the first time that the mayor has done one thing and told the public something else.  If Ms. Liberatore were a serious reporter she would easily have exposed this but instead she went the cheap way. 

The heart of this matter was the adoption of a city ordinance that excluded the downtown from a requirement that new construction could not cast a shadow on an adjacent building’s solar panel.  I have written previously about this ordinance.  It makes no sense to have this ordinance for the city core.  We want to focus development downtown.   We do not want businesses like the Pedinottis to be able to block projects by simply putting up a solar panel.  We could not have put up the building where Northshire Bookstore now sits if the building next to it had put up a solar panel.  It was no coincidence or conspiracy that this ordinance was passed following Mouzon House’s litigation.  The fact is that their litigation exposed a problem with the city ordinance.

 Previous to Ms. Liberatore, the Times Union reporter covering the city was Dennis Yusko.  He was a great reporter whose stories had punch but were still thoughtful.  I miss Dennis.


8 thoughts on “Litigation On The City Emails: Getting Beyond Conspiracies”

  1. John, Judge Chauvin of the NYS Supreme Court, ordered, under the rules of Discovery in the Pedinotti lawsuit, that the City and City Center must produce the un-redacted copies of those emails. The City and City Center appealed that order, even though, per the law on Discovery, they had no right of appeal. The NYS Appellate Court dismissed the City’s appeal out of hand, thereby reinforcing Judge Chauvin’s order to release the emails! And yet, the City and City Center Attorneys are defying that order! The City and the City Center are both Public entities, subject to State and Federal rules of disclosure and transparency. And, yet you, whose wife serves as Secretary of and a contributor to Saratoga Success, which you have failed to disclose in your opposition to the Saratoga Charter Change, still support, by attacking the Times Union reporter, keeping those emails under wraps. Any credibility that you had before with me, you have now totally lost, as you appear to be just a shill for the bosses as the Saratoga Republican Party.


    1. Anyone who has paid any attention to this and other issues is well aware that Ms. Liberatore is under the spell of the current Mayor who has been anything but transparent or consistent. She blows with the wind and Ms. Liberatore is the sails that help her with this.


  2. a little confused here, how can you be for transparency and disclosure and simultaneously support the active and defiant suppression of information that potentially could impact this election? i just don’t get the inconsistency. I say release the emails, thereby get rid of the conspiracy theories.


    1. The e-mails are a rouse being used by the “It’s Time” mob because they can’t produce credible financials…It’s time for them to come clean on that $17,500 campaign contribution from that Washington DC PAC.


    2. ABM-I think if you read this blog more carefully you will see that the blogger does not take a position on whether the emails should be released or not.


      1. My apologies, I reread it. But, I have to say he has been a huge advocate of transparency in the past so I’m just confused why his headline wasn’t a bit more in line with his past writings. I think it’s a fair questions.


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