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Defamation

Defamation

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Published by Brian J. Amaral

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Published by: Brian J. Amaral on Dec 12, 2011
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01/24/2012

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SUPREMECOURTOFTHESTATEOFNEWYORKCOUNTYOFSAINTLAWRENCEARTHURJ.SCIORRA
Claimant,-against-
WILLIAMD.NELSON,AsMAYORoftheCityofOgdensburgMICHAELMORLEY,AsDEPUTYMAYORoftheCityofOgdensburgJUSTINWOODS,asEx-CITYPLANNERoftheCityofOgdensburgJUSTINWOODSTHECITYOFOGDENSBURG
Respondent(s).
STATEOFNEWYORK,COUNTYOFONONDAGA
55.:
NOTICEOFCLAIM
NOTICEOFCLAIM
PLEASETAKENOTICEthattheClaimanthereinherebymakesclaimanddemandsagainsttheRespondents,WilliamD.Nelson,Mayor;MichaelMorley,DeputyMayor;JustinWoods,AsexCityPlannerTheCityofOgdensburg,pursuanttoSection50-e)oftheGeneralMunicipalLaw,andthefollowinginformationisfurnishedpursuanttosuchsection:1.ThenameandPostOfficeaddressoftheClaimantis:
ARTHURJ.SCORRA,
124Proctor
Avenue,Ogdensburg,NewYork,
13669.2.Claimantisrepresentedby:Gilles
R.R.
AbitbolEsq.121GreenAcresDrive,Liverpool,NewYork,13090(315)7060159.3.Thenatureoftheclaim:ThisclaimarisesoutofthefollowingstatementsbythefollowingCityofOgdensburgrepresentativeswhichoccurredrecently:-MayorWilliamD.Nelson:
09/29/11:PublishedinaPressReleaseStatement(Exhibit
1),
Libel
 
Theexacttermsare:"Ihavestartedmyownindependentreviewofthee-mailexchangesbetweenthecityplannerandhisboss,thecitymanager.IwasdisheartenedtoreadthatMr.Sciorrawasawareofthesituationmorethan2yearsagoandtooknodiscernibleactiontorectifythesituation.""Mr.SciorraalsodidnotinformCityCounseloftheongoingissue,whichleftusunabletomakedecisionsthatcouldhaverectifiedthesituation"ThisstatementwasreleasedtothepressfromtheMayor'sOffice,330FordStreet,Ogdensburg,NewYork13669.
10/11/11:
PublishedatCITYCOUNCILMEETING(Exhibit2)Libel
Theexacttermsare:"MayorNelsonsaidhereadthatbecausewhenwewereinformedasCouncilmemberswhathappenedwith819KnoxStreet3yearsafterithappened,it'sadirectresultofnotbeinginformedbytheCityManager."ThisstatementwasreleasedfromtheMayor'sOffice,330FordStreet,Ogdensburg,NewYork13669.
10/13/11:
Publishedontheinternet,intheWatertownDailyTimes.com(Exhibit3),Libel
Theexacttermsare:"Wewouldnotbehavingthisconversationatallifthecitymanagerhadbeenopenandhonestwiththecouncil,"MayorWilliamD.Nelsonsaid."Theultimateresponsibilityfor819KnoxSt.liessolelywiththecitymanager."
10/14/11:
PublishedontheinternetintheDailyCourierObserver(Exhibit4),libel
Theexacttermsare:"Wewouldnotbehavingthisconversationatallifthecitymanagerhadbeenopenandhonestwiththecouncil,"MayorWilliamD.Nelsonsaid."Theultimateresponsibilityfor819KnoxSt.liessolelywiththecitymanager."
10/28/11:
PublishedintheCounselmeetingAgenda(Exhibit5)
Theexacttermsare:"theOgdensburgCityCounselherebymakesthispreliminaryresolutiontoterminateMr.Sciorra'semploymentcontractasCityMangerforfailingtoupholdhispowersanddutiesasoutlinedinSectionC-19oftheCityCharter.BEINFURTHERRESOLVEDthatthereasonsforremovalarethatMr.Sciorra,astheChiefExecutiveOfficerandchiefAdministrativeOfficeroftheCity,failedtoupholdandwasnegligentinhisrespectivedutiesto:1.BeresponsibletotheCityCounselfortheadministrationallCityaffairs,SeeSectionC-19(A)(l).DocumentedevidenceshowstheCityMangerwaslessthat
2
I
 
forthcomingabouthisknowledgeofandroleindecisionsmadeintheCity'sNeighborhoodStabilizationProgramandtheOgdensburgGrowthFundDevelopmentCorporation'sNewYorkMainStreetGrantPrograms.2.Directandsupervisetheadministrationofalldepartments,officesandagenciesofthecity,SeeSectionC-19(A)(3).Mr.Sciorraprovidedconflictingstatementsabouthisknowledgeofdecisionsintheseprogramsandratherthanacceptresponsibilityforsupervisingdepartments,Mr.SciorrahasblamedtheComptroller,CityAttorneyandDirectorofPlanningforalloftheshortcomingsintheadministrationofgrantprograms.TheCityCouncilspecificallyfindsdocumentsevidencethatMr.Sciorrawasnottruthfulinhistatements,andfurtherfindsthatMr.SciorrawasnegligentinhisdutiestodirectandsuperviseCitystaff,departments,grantprograms,andtheacquisition,managementanddispositionofrealestateacquiredthroughtaxsaleforeclosure.3.Seethatalllaws,provisionsoftheCharter,resolutions,ordinances,locallawsandactsoftheCityCounselarefaithfullyexecuted,SeeSectionC-19(A)(5).Mr.SciorrafailedtoensurethathisdepartmentsfollowedChapter11oftheCityChartergoverningthesaleandleaseofCity-ownedrealestateandfailedtoensurethathisdepartmentsfollowedtheNSPdispositionproceduresapprovedbytheCityCounsel.WhiletheremayhavebeenlegitimatereasonstodeviatefromNSPproceduresasdrafted,theCityManagerwasnegligentofhisdutiesbyfailingtonotifyCouncilofdeviationsfromtheapprovedproceduresandfailingtoseektheCouncil'sapprovaltoamendtheprocedures.4.MakereportsastheCityCouncilmayrequiredconcerningtheoperationsofCitydepartments,officesandagenciesundertheManager'sdirectionandsupervision,SeeSectionC-19(A)(8).Documentedevidenceshowsthatwhenaskedaboutgrantprogramsandspecificproperties,Mr.SciorrawasnottruthfulabouthisknowledgeoforroleinthedecisionsleadinguptodeviationsfromtheCharterandapprovedCouncilprocedures.Mr.Sciorraalsofailedtoprovideacompletereportonthematterwhenrequested,andhefailedtoprovideanhonestaccountingofhisactivities.5.SubjecttoCityCouncilapproval,tonegotiate,andgrantleases,licensesandpermitsfortheuseofallCitylands,structures,facilitiesandappurtenances,SeeSectionC-19(A)(ll).MrSciorraexecutedpurchaseandsalesagreementsfor819KnoxStreetand2GroveStreetwithouttheapprovalofCityCouncil.ThisstatementwasreleasedtothepressfromtheMayor'sOffice,330FordStreetOgdensburg,NewYork13669.
11/01/11:Publishedontheinternet,intheWatertownDailyTimes.com(Exhibit6)Libel
Theexacttermsare:
"(Mr.
Sciorra)hasintentionallymisrepresentedhisknowledgeor/androleinhisdecisionsaboutseveralprogramstotheOgdensburgCityCouncil,"writes
Mr.
Nelson,"andintentionallyissuedanumberoffalsepublicstatements."3
I

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