Tonawanda News

Local News

August 11, 2012

Witryol suit is dismissed

(Continued)

Tonawanda News —

Housh admitted that the New York State Board of Elections had not been properly served in that the agency did not receive the petition until July 27.

“The board of elections was served late,” Housh said. “That’s true.”

But he argued that because the petition had been filed on time that the case should be allowed to go forward, in part because the board of elections is not a relevant party in the case.

“If you order the board of elections to [throw out Moriarity’s petition of designation] it doesn’t matter whether they are a party to this or not,” Housh told Panepinto.

Ciampoli disputed Housh’s claim that the board of elections is not a relevant party.

“If you issue an order telling them what to do then they are still entitled to due process,” Ciampoli said.

But Housh, again, disagreed.

“The board of elections is not a necessary party because they are not aggrieved and they have no authority to rule on this case,” Housh said. “Only this court does.”

The attorneys also argued the merit of the case. Ciampoli and Wojtaszek suggested that it should also be dismissed because Housh had provided no evidence of the alleged fraud and that all allegations were based on information and belief, which cannot be used in fraud cases.

To prove fraud, Housh would have had to provide lists of specific signatures and affidavits with those people claiming that they had never signed and would never sign a petition for that particular candidate, Ciampoli said. He described the Witryol suit as a “fishing expedition.”

“Simply put the fraud hasn’t been sufficiently plead,” Ciampoli said. “It’s not specific and we don’t know what it is.”

Ciampoli said that while Witryol and Housh may believe the alleged fraud to be real and that it was part of some larger Republican conspiracy to manipulate the minor party line, they failed to provide sufficient proof in their pleadings.

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