The Village Residents Party sought a number of documents from the government of the Incorporated Village of Brookville, including the legally-required campaign filings of the incumbent "Citizens Party." The following account details some of our attempts, as well as some of the efforts made by various officials who were determined to prevent the release of those documents.
4/5/1993 - spoke with Paul McKinney, New York State Board of Elections, re: CF-01 forms
- spoke with Mr. Roberts re: CLS, election law
- spoke with Robert Borshart re: Citizens Party; he referred us to §14-124 (6) of NYS Election Law; he referred us to the Office of Special Counsel, NYS BOE, att: Peter Kosinski
- Enforcement Counsel - Stanley Zalen (518-474-5233) informs us that our options are:
1) County BOE
2) County Attorney §14-126
3) County Attorney Article 16 - force a filing
4) bring suit under Article 16 (requires 5 persons)
5) District Attorney §14-126 - prosecute for willful failure to file
- other persons to contact include:
5/17/1993 - Stanley L. Zalen - letter received
7/15/1993 - I called Stanley Zalen, left phone number, he returned my call, we spoke for 15 min re: Citizens Party. He suggested that we pursue civil remedies and explained the normal procedures that are followed in cases like this. He suggested that we send his office a letter suggesting that they write to the VOB re: obtaining compliance
3/8/1994 - letter sent to NYS Board of Elections 3/8/1994
8/11/1994 - Nassau County DA, Warren Thurer - I visited the office and filed a complaint, alleging that the Citizens Party had never filed a financial disclosure form. I left several documents;
1] the letter to Goodwin that informed him of the need to file
2] an FOI request for Citizens Party disclosures
3] an FOI appeal for Citizens Party disclosures
4] the letter from Pailet informing us that no such documents are on file
I mailed a copy [on 8/15/94] of our most recent mailing [#94-2] that mentions these issues
8/15/1994 - Nassau County DA - called and left a message asking me to call and make an appointment to discuss my complaint 8/15/1994
8/16/1994 - Nassau County DA - I called back, we arranged to discuss the matter by phone, tomorrow at 2 PM (when I called Wed., she was out sick, again on Thurs. I left a message that I would try again Mon.)
8/22/1994 - Nassau County DA, Mrs. Brown - I reached her Monday, we spoke several minutes, something came up, she asked me to call back, I called 10 minutes later and we spoke for 10 min. We went over:
1) the complaint and the Citizen's Party's history
2) the village government's composition and which persons mattered in any decision making capacity
3) their failure to file ANY forms, not just financial disclosures
4) the expensive, lithographed flyers and the cocktail party at the Westbury Manor as proof that the $1000 limit was broken
5) the last VRP mailing and the article that it was to rebut
She asked about the secret dealings beween Post and VOB. I explained Post's payment of a PILT and what Post seemed to expect for it. She asked if other persons were aware of this and I mentioned Bill Popper's lawsuit re: noise from Post as corroboration of the VOB's refusal to take any action against Post, for any reason. I also mentioned Soldivan's letter and the VOB's vigorous efforts to keep it secret, in defiance of the NYS Committee on Open Government. I also mailed a copy (later that afternoon) of the NY State Board of Elections letter in which they decline to take up the matter.
9/1/1994 - Nassau County DA's Office - Mrs. Brown called and left a message to call back. She stated that if I didn't reach her today (Th 9/1/94), she would be away until 9/6/94.
9/6/1994 - Nassau County DA's Office, Mrs. Brown - I called back, we spoke for several minutes about the steps that the VRP has taken, up to this point. She had hoped to refer us to the NYS Atty General, but noted that he had already turned us down. She will discuss the matter with the bureau chief and we will talk next week.
9/13/1994, 2:55 PM - Nassau County DA's Office, Janet Brown - I called to check in, as requested. The matter is in the hands of the bureau chief and I was asked to call back toward the end of the week.
9/16/1994 - Nassau County DA - I called Mrs. Brown to follow up [571-2100], per her request. She informed me that the case is in the hands of Cliff Brock and asked that I call him. After several attempts, I reached him. We spoke 5 to 10 minutes. He has been in contact with the NYS BOE and spoke with Peter Kosinski, as we had. His next step will be to inform Goodwin, et al of the requirement to file. He mentioned that he knew Goodwin, who is the landlord of the building that he is in.
10/14/1994 - Nassau County DA's Office, Cliff Brock - I called to follow up and will send a copy of the pamphlet "Guide to Campaign Financial Disclosure"
11/8/1994 - Nassau County DA's Office, Cliff Brock - I called to see if he got the pamphlet and to follow up. He wasn't in and I left a message with Mrs. Brown. When I did reach him, he informed me that they had closed the case against the Citizen's Party, as they felt that it wasn't the sort of thing that they should get involved with. He stated that the decision had come from above and referred me to Frank Quigley, his immediate superior. I asked about contacting Dennis Dillon directly, but he urged me to speak to Quigley instead. The entire matter seemed to make him very nervous and he finally claimed to have a long distance call coming in, and had to go.
11/18/1994, 2:00 PM - Nassau County DA's Office, Cliff Brock - We met at his office [also present, Frank (last name unknown, he refused to identify himself, I have the name "Frank" only because that is how Cliff Brock addressed him) and discussed the case for over an hour. We discussed various related cases, as well.
12/2/1994 - Nassau County DA's Office, Cliff Brock - I called
back, we spoke for several minutes re: my complaint about Pailet denying
access. [I had faxed him a copy of my letter to
Chief Smith.] He feels that Pailet and Piampiano didn't violate any
laws. I stated that I hadn't expected a case to be opened, but that this
would be another stone on the pile and would be illustrative about this
group and their methods. He suggested that I call the State Comptroller
We had spoken several times since the last note entry and over the weekend, I sent another copy of the Board of Elections pamphlet. He discussed it with Frank Quigley. We discussed my call to Dennis Dillon and the fact that Lawrence Leff had tried to return my call.
12/2/1994, 5:30 PM - Nassau County DA's Office, Lawrence Leff - after several crossed phone calls, I reached him at his office. He had called to return the call that I had made to Dennis Dillon. We discussed the case for 15 min. He recalled that my message made mention of the case being killed by higher-ups and he was concerned about what that meant. He didn't recall Cliff Brock's letter [that he killed], but he will look into it and call me next week to discuss it and to set up a meeting.
12/9/1994 - Nassau County DA's Office, Lawrence Leff - after reviewing
the information that I provided, he asked if I'd like to come in and discuss
the matter. I told him that I would be away until January. We will arrange
a meeting date sometime after the first of the year.
these notes were prepared by the Village Residents Party