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County Attorney Colby "Misrepresents Authority" In Attempt to "Save the Great 8"

County Attorney Colby "Misrepresents Authority" In Attempt to "Save the Great 8"

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Published by: Wnymedia Net on Oct 03, 2011
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07/19/2013

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MONDAY,OCTOBER3,2011PRESSSTATEMENT:1:30P.M.EIUECOUNTYBOARDOFELECTIONS134W.EagleStreet-3
rd
FloorBuffalo,NY14202
DemocraticElectionsCommissionerDennisE.WardtodaychargedthattheCollinsadministrationthroughtheuseoftheOfficeofErieCountyAttorneyJeremyColbyisusingtheresourcesofErieCountytofundlitigationtosaveeight(8)ofCollins'favoredCountyLegislativecandidatesfromlosingtheIndependencePartynominationfortheNovember8,2011GeneralElection.WardclaimedthattheCountyAttorneysubmittedarequestforremovalofcourtlitigationfromStateSupremeCourt(JusticeDianeY.Devlin)toFederalDistrictCourt(JudgeWilliamM.Skretny)underfalserepresentation.Colby'sapplicationtofederalcourtstatesthatherepresentstheErieCountyBoardofElectionsintherequesttochangecourts.CommissionerWardstatedthatsucharepresentationisfalse,thathewasneverevenconsultedaboutthematter,thattheBoardofElectionshasneverauthorizedtheCountyAttorney'sactionandthatheopposestheCountyAttorney'saction.Inaddition,Wardclaimedthatit'sapurelypartisanattempttoallowtheuseofcountytaxpayers'fundstoprovidefreelegalrepresentationforCountyExecutiveCollins'favoredlegislativecandidates.Further,WardstatedthatnowitwilllikelyrequireeachCommissionertohireseparatelegalcounselatthetaxpayers'expensetosortoutthelitigationbetweenfederalandstatecourts."Thisisablatantuseoftaxpayers'fundsandresourcesbytheCountyExecutivetohelphispoliticalsupporters."Inaddition,WardclaimedthatsuchactionsbytheCountyAttorney'sofficeconstitutesmisrepresentationofhisauthoritytoactonbehalfofaclientcouldbethesubjectofanethicalcomplainttotheFederalCourtand/ortheOfficeoftheAttorneyGrievanceCommittee.TheCommissionersaysthatheonlyfoundoutabouttheactiontakenbytheCountyAttorneyafteritwasdoneandfiledwiththeStateandFederalCourts.HespokewiththeCountyAttorneydemandingthathisactionberescindedbutsofarMr.Colbyhasrefusedtodoso.WardsaidthatanyofficialactionoftheBoardofElectionsrequirestheunanimousapprovalofbothcommissioners.HesaidthatsuchactionhasneverevenbeensuggestedtothefullBoard.WardagaindemandedthattheCountyAttorneydiscontinuehis"illegal"actionandpermittheRepublicanlegislativecandidatestopayfortheirownattorneyfees.Contact:DennisE.WardDemocraticCommissionerErieCountyBoardofElections134W.EagleStreetBuffalo,NY14202(716)858-7787
 
ERIECOUNTY.
BoardofElections
134WestEagleStreetBuffalo,NewYork14101
DennisE.Ward,
Commissioner
September30,2011ChiefJudgeWilliamM.SkretnyUnitedStatesDistrictCourt68CourtStreetBuffalo,NY14202(viafax:332-7825)
Re:Cooper,
etaf
v.Ward,
etaf
CaseNo.ll-CV-824SDearJudgeSkretny:IaminreceiptofthecommunicationfromtheErieCountyAttorneyrelativetohisunauthorizedcommencementofaremovalproceedingtoFederalCourtofaStateAction,involvingonlystateelectionlawissues.Worse,hehasrepresentedtoyourCourtthathedidsoonbehalfofandastheattorneyfortheErieCountyBoardofElections.I-IelrnowsfullwellthathenevermetwiththeBoardofElections,neverreceivedanyauthorizationtoinitiatetheremovalandmostdisturbingtome,neverhadthecourtesytoinformofitsexistenceuntilIwascalledbyanattomeyinthestateactionthatJusticeDevlinhadbeenservedwiththenoticeoftheremovaLAscounselfortheBoardofElections,hisofficeisfullyawarethatundertheauthorityofNewYorkStateElectionLaw,Section3-212(2),aunanimousBoardofElections(bothCommissionersinErieCounty)isrequiredforanyactionbytheBoard.ThedisturbingfacthereisthathehasrepresentedtoyourCourtthathehadauthorityfromthefullBoardtoinitiateanactionwhichhedidnotandheknewthathedid.HenowseekstocoverhisactionsbysayingthatheissteppingoutoftheroleascounselforeitherCommissionertopermittheemploymentofseparatecounsel,Somehow,thisissupposedto"cleanse"hisinitialaction,
nuncprotunc.
He(andhopefullyyou)cannotallowtheactionhanginlimbo-butstillbepending-whileattorneysareputinplaceforeachCommissioner.IwouldrespectfullysuggestthatbaseduponMr.Colby'sactions,theonlyappropriatecourseofactionistodismisstheremovalactionillegallyinitiatedbyMr.Colbyimmediately.(Histrue"clientsininterest"arealwaysfreetoinitiatetheirownremovalactioniftheysochoose.)TheentirematterisnotevenripefortheBoardofElectionstohaveapositiononthelawsuitastheCommissionershavenotevenruledontheunderlyingobjections.OnlythenwilltheBoard(ortheindividualCommissioners)beinapositiontodetenninewhethertheyareinaunanimouspositionorina"split"boardposition.
 
Meanwhile,Mr.Colbyhassucceededinstallingthetimelydispositionofthestatecourtproceedinginordertogaintime,presumablyforhisreal"clientsininterest"topickuponthequickremovalthatheillegallyinitiated.Hehasnobusinessbeinginthislawsuitnowandapparentlywillnotbedoingsointhefuture.Hisremovalactionshouldbedismissedsummarilybaseduponhisownadmissionsinhisletter.Heiscorrectthattimeisofgreaturgency,sincetheBoardofElectionsmustgetmilitaryballotsoutbyFriday,October6,2011.ThestatecourtactionwasscheduledtoproceedonThursday,October5,2011.Thatisnowplacedinjeopardyduetohisactions-whenheissupposedtobetheattorneyforBoardofElections.AnyinterferencewithgettingthemilitaryballotsoutwillonceagaincatchtheattentionoftheJusticeDepartmentinthecase(UnitedStatesofAmericav.NewYorkState,etal)pendingintheNorthernDistrictofNewYork(J.Sharpe))wherethelatemailingofmilitaryballotshasbeenthecauseofcontinuingconcern.
It
shouldbenotedthathisratherthinjustificationfortheremovalrestsonanassertionthatbecausecertainPetitionersinthestatecourtproceedinghaveallegedthattheIndependencePartyfailedtofollowtheStateElectionLawrequirements(presumablythoseunderSections6-116and6-120)thatsuchaclaimgivesrisetoa"collateralchallenge"tothisCourt'sorderundertheErieCountyreapportiomnentcase(Mohrv.CountyofErie,etal,11-CV-559S).Andthus,itgivesrisetoa"federalquestion"arisingundertheUSConstitution.Tome,thatisaboutasspeciousaclaimasonecanimagine.Heisn'tclaimingthattheprovisionsofthecitedsectionsofthestateElectionLawareunconstitutional-onlyreferencingthattheclaimisthattheRespondentsdidn'tcomplywiththem.Therefore,howtheissuescitedinthestatecourtcaseconstituteanattackonthisCourt'sdecisionisamysterywhenthatdecisionheldthattheprovisionsofSection6-116wouldbeappliedinfashioningaremedytoforthelatenessintothenominatingcalendarfor2011.(Section6-120istheauthorizationsectionthatmerelyallowsapoliticalpartytonominateacandidatewhoisnotanenrolledmemberofthatparty).IwouldsimplyaskthatthisCourtreviewwhatMr.ColbyhasadmittedinIrisletterandreversetheremovalandallowthestatecourtproceedingtoproceed.IamcertainthatCommissionerMohrandmyselfcouldmakeourselvesavailable,ona
prose
basis(atleastinitially!)"toansweranyquestionsthattheCourtmighthave.Thankyouforyourconsiderationofthismatter.'~y~DennisE.Wardcc:JeremyColby,Esq.(viafax)RalphM.Mohr,CommissionerJeromeD_Schad,Esq.

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