Wednesday, September 3, 2014

UPDATE: SAVE East Greenbush Group Changed Their Lawsuit to Include Conflict of Interest Issue in Ongoing Casino Debates

From a press release Wednesday (now with a comment from Sue Mangold):


East Greenbush, NY (September 3, 2014). In a new filing earlier today with the State of New York Supreme Court for Rensselaer County, resident group Save East Greenbush amended their Article 78 petition against the Town Board, Capital View Casino, and the NY Gaming Commission to include a cause of action regarding Council Member Sue Mangold’s conflict of interest. 

In late August, the resident group attorney issued a demand for Mangold’s recusal in response to the information that her brother Brian Hart had already received $25,000 in a real estate option and stands to gain $75,000 more with a successful application. 

Mangold said in response in an email: "I had no knowledge of any conflict of interest prior to any vote. I recused myself immediately upon finding out."

The Article 78 calls for an annulment of the Town Board resolution in support of locating the Capital View Casino at Thompson Hill. The added cause of action, as stated in the amended petition, states that the resolution “was adopted by a Town Board having a prohibited conflict of interest.”

Further: “Councilwoman Sue Mangold had knowledge, or at a minimum should have known about this prohibited conflict of interest, yet the resolution in support of a gaming facility being located at the Casino Site clearly shows Councilwoman Mangold participated in the discussion, spoke in favor of the casino and the economic benefit that would result and ultimately voted in favor of the resolution.”

As revealed in the FOIL’d meeting notes between developer James Featherstonhaugh and Supervisor Keith Langley, as well as Councilwoman Deb DiMartino, the existence of this conflict of interest was known by no later than May 9, 2014, though its existence was hidden from the public and the residents of the Town of East Greenbush.

“She shouldn’t have been voting in the first place,” said Dwight Jenkins of Mangold. “Feathers knew. Langley knew. DiMartino knew. But Mangold’s saying she didn’t? And why didn’t any of them make this public prior to the vote? This is the very opposite of transparent and ethical government.”

Jeff Meyer of Meyer and Fuller Law Firm, the attorneys representing the resident group, said:  “The additional cause of action was required based upon the new information that was discovered relating to the prohibited conflict of interest.  It shocks the conscience to see the lengths Supervisor Langley and the Town Board will go appease the moneyed interests that are behind the Capital View Casino and Resort as all involved continue to manipulate the process and obfuscate the truth.”

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