Peekskill Democratic Party’s Underhanded Attempts To Stop Primary Exposed In NY Supreme Court

PU Wins

We don’t mean to brag but we love it when we are proven right. In fact, we haven’t been proven wrong yet. That’s because we only report on the truth and support our stories with evidence. To be fair we have to admit that when it comes to the Democratic Party in Peekskill, it is too easy. Just take the latest City Council Primary brouhaha for example.

https://insidepeekblog.wordpress.com/2017/08/18/corruption-by-peekskill-dems-to-prevent-primary-exposed/

In our last post, we exposed the corrupt process used by the Peekskill Democrats to select their candidates but, more importantly, we showed how the county party works to underhandedly extinguish any challengers to the party choices by using their operatives planted in the county Board of Elections. We even exposed that former Peekskill Democratic Party Chairman TJ Rogers works at the BOE and was involved in the attempt to disqualify the petitions submitted by the Peekskill United candidates for council, Luis Segarra and Robert Sullivan. The methods Rogers used under direction of Morey and Rigger were so far-fetched and outright false that the Peekskill United team had no choice but to challenge the corrupt ruling in court. Make that 3 different courts in fact!

NYS Supreme Court

First stop was in the White Plains Courthouse and more Democratic Party control. After a hearing that required multiple recesses, the Democratic Party Judge ruled that the petitions in question remain invalid. Why? Well, you won’t believe it.

At the heart of the argument were 60 signatures obtained by a college student intern working to help the Peekskill United candidates. As a registered Democrat, she worked diligently to gather those signatures and she felt good about being involved in the electoral process. Well, the Democratic Party didn’t see it that way. A young and energetic college student working for the Peekskill United team? And a registered Democrat to boot? No way! The Democrats needed to find a way to stop those 60 signatures from being valid. If declared valid, the minimum required signature threshold would be met and a Primary would take place.

The Peekskill Democrats, through their campaign Chairman Matt Clausen and the BOE Democratic Commissioner claimed the college student in question was actually not a registered voter in NY, therefore the signatures she gathered were not valid. If that were true they would have been correct in their claim. Except, she WAS and IS a registered voter in NY and the Peekskill United legal team provided original documents on file with the NYS Board of Elections that proved it. Uh oh, now what?

After a two day recess the court met again. Here is the strategy the Democrats came up with over those two days of recess – claim the person didn’t actually sign her name properly on the BOE paperwork. What? The PU team had no choice but to put the person on the stand and ask her under oath if that was her signature and of course she said it was – because it was. The judge then claimed that one of the letters in her last name looked like an ‘E’ but should be an ‘O’ to be her proper name. She explained, under oath, that that just happens to be the way she signs her name. It may resemble an E to some but it is the way she writes the O in her name – and has done it that way all her life. Well, the judge wasn’t accepting that and even said, out loud, in court – “you better learn how to spell your name.” He then promptly declared the petitions invalid. What?! Yup.

Appellate Division of the NY State Supreme Court

The Peekskill United team had no choice but to appeal to the NYS Supreme Court Appellate Division. The ruling in Westchester Court was just too ridiculous to let stand. It was not right and it wasn’t fair to their intern who worked so hard for them. It also wasn’t fair to the 500 Democratic registered voters in Peekskill who signed the PU petitions, and it certainly wasn’t fair to ALL the Democratic voters in Peekskill.

BOE Appellate

Westchester BOE Letter to “take no position” in the appeal.

It was off to Brooklyn for the Appellate hearing on August 22nd. This time the matter would be heard by a court of 5 judges. It was also far removed from the corrupt Westchester County Democratic Machine. In fact, the Westchester BOE had no choice but to come clean and submit a statement saying the BOE “takes no position on this appeal.” Well, of course they didn’t. They didn’t want to get embarrassed and further exposed for their underhanded ways.

It didn’t take very long for the 5 judges to unanimously overturn the Westchester Court’s decision, declare the petitions valid, and allow the Primary to take place. It showed how the entire challenge by the Peekskill Democrats was a joke and a sham. So, now it was time to plan for the Primary, right? Wait just a minute.

Appellate Post1.jpg

AppellatePost2

READ FULL APPELLATE DECISION AND ORDER

NYS Court of Appeals

We told you there were 3 courts involved in this. We didn’t realize this was occurring until recently – both sides remained quiet about it. This one took place in Albany on August 30th.

In one last Hail Mary attempt the Peekskill Democrats thought it worth a try to appeal the Appellate Court’s ruling. Mind you, it was a unanimous 5-0 decision that was very clear on the record of evidence it wouldn’t be overturned. But, the Dems just had to try. Funny how they didn’t make a fuss in the press over it as they normally do. No prior warning or claims that they’d be vindicated in Appeals Court. They had their tails between their legs already from getting shut down at the Appellate level so why risk further embarrassment and exposure? It was free so why not – that’s what one of our readers who is close to the Peekskill Dems sent to us in a message. They didn’t care about dragging Clausen’s name around in the mud. He is just a figurehead for the campaign and expendable anyway. Plus, the NYS Dems have lawyers on the payroll that do this sort of thing to keep local political committees happy and beholden to them. The problem with this type of system is that the lawyers involved are not very good and do not commit much time to cases – especially sure losers like this one.

The Court of Appeals works differently than the first two – there actually has to be some merit to the argument for the court to hear the case. To help sift through the frivolous cases and save the judges valuable time so they can focus on serious cases there is a preliminary step to obtain “leave” to proceed to the full court. On the day of the hearing the Peekskill case’s first step was in the Morning Preliminary Review, if deemed with merit, it would proceed to the full court in the afternoon. If not, the process stops and the case goes no further. Well, guess how the Peekskill Democrat’s case fared? Yup, it was thrown out within minutes. Goodbye, stop wasting our time. Good luck with the Primary.

Enter Mike Morey, Darrin Rigger and the Peekskill Democratic Party Spin Machine. They are totally unhinged over the turn of events regarding the Democratic Primary that will take place on September 12th. Time to combine damage control with skewing the facts of what took place and make it look like the Peekskill United candidates are the bad guys. Yes, really… that is what they are attempting to do. Just go on social media and you will see some outrageous claims by the party faithful. They all have the same talking points and they are sticking by them. They just happen to be foolish and so nonsensical that most people are laughing at them.

The serious issue at hand is the Primary itself. It is definitely happening and it is important. The Democratic Party is nervous because they know their candidates are weak and outright unqualified to serve. The Peekskill United candidates are highly qualified and very committed to the City. We have seen some recent posts by the PU campaign that highlight Segarra and Sullivan and are very helpful to get to know them – go see them for yourself. The Peekskill Democratic candidates are nowhere to be found. From the information we have gathered so far, they have very questionable issues associated with them that will surely become public soon enough. They are laying low so they can avoid scrutiny before the Primary.

It is obvious the Peekskill Democrats are approaching the Primary in a stealth way. They mean to get people to vote for their candidates by convincing the registered Dems that the PU candidates are not really Dems. Yes, we know. There couldn’t be a Primary if they weren’t registered Democrats but the Peekskill Dem Party never lets fact or truth get in their way.

We will not make a prediction on who will win the Primary. It is just too difficult to gage. There is already a Primary taking place for Democratic County Executive so there are other factors in play. What we CAN do is give out warnings. First warning is to the Peekskill United team – watch out for the inevitable cheating. The Peekskill Dems are notorious for it. There will be felons voting, those who don’t live in Peekskill anymore voting, those taking other’s identities voting and noncitizens voting. Poll workers will be telling voters who to vote for. They will even sit down with them and help them fill out their ballots. The Party controlled local trolley will shuttle people around – some even to more than one polling place. It has happened every election in Peekskill.

Our final warning is to the City of Peekskill Democratic voters who are not connected to the party machine. Do the right thing for the city, yourself, and your family and vote for Segarra and Sullivan on September 12th.

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Peekskill Dems Create Political Circus of Judge Loehr Scandal

Loehr at Car Post.jpg

Caught in their deliberate and calculated acts of political favoritism, the Peekskill Democratic Party is doubling down. They are taking the advice of their political directors (aka, Morey and Rigger) and desperately attempting to change the focus of Judge Loehr’s inappropriate acts by throwing around accusations of their own. Their minions have been unleashed on social media calling those exposing Loehr as “political” and even bringing up anti-immigration issues as a defense. The public is not buying it.

Mayoral candidate Noodle Noo is leading the charge along with candidates for council, Fernandez, Agudelo and Smith. They have made a political circus out of the issue, hoping it will wane public interest and scrutiny. Based on the overwhelming responses we received at InsidePEEK over our post exposing Loehr’s failure as a judge and her personal relationship with Noodle, nothing will change the public’s minds on this issue. If fact, a concerned group of citizens has come together and created an online petition to remove Loehr as judge. See below:

https://www.ipetitions.com/petition/calling-for-the-resignation-of-judge-melissa-loehr

Loehr Petition

Click on the link above to sign the petition.

The outrageousness of the Peekskill Democratic Majority’s hand-picked judge forced Mayor Catalina to hold a press conference to outline the issue, beginning with Loehr’s selection. He described how he requested the judge interviews be held publicly. He knew what the Democratic Majority planned on doing – to select their political and person friend (Loehr) over the much more qualified candidates. Catalina was not granted his request so the interviews were held in private. Based on Catalina’s description of that interview we know exactly why the Democrats wanted to keep it private!

Catalina asked Loehr “what do you think is the most pressing criminal justice issue in Peekskill” her answer was “police profiling and misconduct” – wow! Catalina also asked her “what is your most satisfying career case to date” she replied “getting a criminal client off on a technicality” – double wow!

After News12 covered Catalina’s press conference they tracked down Judge Loehr as she ran from the court and tried to get into her car before commenting – she didn’t make it. When asked about her actions she said, “I can’t comment, I can’t be involved with politics.” Really?! What a joke! She should have thought about that a long time ago!

We showed in our previous posts how Loehr was absolutely unqualified for the judge position. (See links below). Her father’s influence in the Democratic Party and the Peekskill’s Democrats requirement to obey his request put her on the bench. But there is another key fact that will help us understand Loehr’s skewed view of law enforcement and the law. She is a Legal Aid attorney in the Bronx. So how do these two conflicting positions jibe in Loehr’s mind? She spends most of her time getting criminals set free to continue their illegal activity, then spends time on the bench where she is supposed to be impartial and objective – which clearly, she is not. It is not hard, then, to understand why she let perpetrators of a violent crime go free without bail in Peekskill.

The article below may help explain what we mean:
http://nypost.com/2017/07/22/the-bronx-has-the-lowest-conviction-rate-in-the-city/

Back to the Circus

As mentioned above, the Peekskill Democratic slate is desperate to flip the switch on this unnerving issue. They know that Noodle Noo Rainey, a sitting councilman, is eyeballs deep in this corruption. Not only did he lead the fight to have Loehr selected, his personal relationship with her has also been exposed.

So, what do they do? How can Morey and Rigger design a strategy? Of course! – since two of their candidates are Hispanic and the crime victims are Hispanic, let’s show our support for them and, oh by the way, throw in there that anti-immigration may be a cause for the public backlash against Loehr and the Dems. It may sound like a good strategy but it is not working – in fact, it is backfiring on them.

We will not display it here for obvious reasons, but the Democratic slate thought it would be a good strategy to publish a photo of them with the victims’ families. They also publicly stated their names! Now they have put the entire victims’ families in harm’s way! This egregious and extremely irresponsible exploitation for political gain is beyond the pale. We can only hope that perpetrators of the original crimes or their friends do not retaliate against these innocent people. Shame on Rainey, Fernandez, Agudelo and Smith.

In a recent Letter to the Editor, outgoing Councilman Vincent ‘Boo’ Vesce called for an outright apology from his Democratic Majority colleagues. He correctly pointed out that the city was in the position it now faces at the courthouse because of blatant politics. According to Vesce: “While many may not want to hear it, the problems stem from the political games and patronage displayed time and time again by the Democratic majority on the Common Council.”

Vesce ended his strong statement:

“They owe this community an apology, and I would hope that at least a couple of them realize that listening to their party faithful and playing political games does nothing but hurt our residents. I also hope that this community is paying attention and does not allow this type of governing to continue within our great City of Peekskill.”

Read the full statement here:
http://www.peekskillpost.net/councilman-vesce-peekskill-democrats-owe-community-apology/

There seems to be another possible reason behind Loehr’s action to set the attackers free – one of them was a former boyfriend of her daughter! A number of readers sent us this information and it has also appeared in various social media posts. Mayor Catalina mentioned it in his press conference. News12 also mentions it in their coverage. While there has been no smoking gun evidence that proves this allegation, there has been no denial either. We include it here because there are many sources claiming to know and it was stated publicly without rebuttal. Besides, we already know Loehr violated ethical protocol by calling the Cortlandt Court to get her daughter out of trouble after her arrest. It seems plausible that she would use her own power to help her boyfriend.

https://insidepeekblog.wordpress.com/2017/02/02/peekskill-judge-melissa-loehr-caught-in-ethics-code-violation/

We at InsidePEEK believe Judge Loehr cannot survive this latest, and serious, breech of ethics and judicial procedure. Can the Judicial District Administrator remove her for cause? Probably not – but they can put pressure on her to resign and help bring confidence and integrity back to the Peekskill Court.

Here is what a few of our readers think about this issue:

“Looks like the evidence is too much to overcome. Why doesn’t she just leave and do Peekskill a favor?”

“Thank you InsidePEEK for bringing this to the public’s attention. You are providing a valuable service to the community by keeping us informed.”

“Omg, how was that photo taken without them knowing? Whoever sent that to you had guts!”
(*this statement is referring to the photo included in our previous post on Rainey and Loehr)

“When you elect a clown you get a circus, that is all I can say about this Noodle guy.”

“As a registered Democrat in Peekskill I am very saddened to see what was once a proud party turn into such an embarrassing spectacle of fools. How did this happen?”

“How can anyone have faith or confidence in the Peekskill court after this?”

“I didn’t realize the Peekskill Democrats were so against the Latino community! How can anyone in in that community in Peekskill consider voting for them!

Based on the uproar and continually growing social media activity surrounding this issue we at InsidePEEK do not see this going away any time soon. We will closely monitor the situation to see if any further posts are needed. Stay tuned…

Related links:

https://insidepeekblog.wordpress.com/2017/07/19/peekskill-dem-judge-loehr-sets-violent-criminals-free-without-bail/

https://insidepeekblog.wordpress.com/2017/02/02/peekskill-judge-melissa-loehr-caught-in-ethics-code-violation/

https://insidepeekblog.wordpress.com/2016/11/16/peekskill-council-democrats-continue-unethical-ways-with-associate-judge-selection/

https://insidepeekblog.wordpress.com/2016/08/22/peekskill-dems-corruption-spreads-to-associate-judge-selection/

Peekskill Judge Melissa Loehr Caught In Ethics Code Violation

loher-at-bench

Well, that didn’t take long. InsidePEEK has been informed of a serious violation of ethics by Peekskill’s new Associate Judge Melissa Loehr. We have been reporting on the unethical and partisan manner in which both Peekskill judges have been selected and the reasons for their selection – protection for their family and friends and political advancement of careers. How right we were!

Recently, Loehr’s daughter was scheduled to appear in the Town of Cortlandt Court on three occasions – she never showed up. When she was finally forced to appear before Judge McCarthy, she was charged with a routine $300 bail for release. We leave out her name and infraction because this story is not about that – it is about what happened next.

Upon discovering her daughter’s situation, Judge Loehr did what all judges know is inappropriate, unethical and a serious violation of the judicial code of conduct – she called the Cortlandt Court to seek special favor for her daughter! She first called as the mother and asked for the name of the presiding judge for her daughter’s case and was upset that bail was set for her daughter. She didn’t like the explanation she received about her daughter’s situation and then asked “do you know who I am” and identified herself as a Peekskill City Court Judge – all in an authoritarian tone as to scare and intimidate the court clerk. Loehr’s daughter must have known this would happen – she acted in a defiant and disrespectful way toward the judge during her hearing. She knew mommy would be ‘taking care of it’ for her. It didn’t work and now has backfired.

This story has been corroborated and verified by court personnel.

It is disturbing enough to have judges who are ultra-partisan but to have judges who blatantly disregard ethics and law to show favoritism to family, and in such an open way, is unacceptable.

Unless a defendant is a member of the Peekskill Democratic Party, a friend or family of a member, or a potential voter for Democratic candidates – you have little chance of fair treatment in the Peekskill City Court. There have been many cases – too numerous to mention – where the Peekskill judge waived fines that were required or, in some cases, even counseled the defendant from the bench on how to avoid a guilty charge and/or penalty!

If you are ever scheduled to appear in front of either of the two Peekskill City Court Judges and are not ‘connected’ as described above – request a change in venue or you may surely regret it.

The situation at the Peekskill City Court is not good for the City of Peekskill. It is embarrassing for the city and makes a mockery of the judicial system and NY court oversight. How can whoever is in charge of the Judicial District allow this behavior to continue? We know Judge Johnson has been reprimanded for his negative treatment of court employees and has been the source of over $200,000 in lost fine fees. Now Judge Loehr has shown the same pattern in just her first month on the bench!

We at InsidePEEK think it is time for a higher authority to intervene and clean up the Peekskill City Court. The Mike Morey, Drew Claxton, Mary Foster, Vivian McKenzie, Marybeth McGowan, Andy Torres, Kathie Talbot, Darrin Rigger, Andre Noodle Rainey political cabal damage must be repaired – for the sake of the citizens of Peekskill. Johnson and Loehr must go.

Related Posts:

https://insidepeekblog.wordpress.com/2016/11/16/peekskill-council-democrats-continue-unethical-ways-with-associate-judge-selection/

https://insidepeekblog.wordpress.com/2016/08/22/peekskill-dems-corruption-spreads-to-associate-judge-selection/

Peekskill Dems’ Corruption Spreads To Associate Judge Selection

HereComesTheJudge

While most of us are enjoying summer vacations, the Peekskill Democratic Party majority on the Common Council looks to quietly advance their acts of deviance and pander. What better time to fly under the radar? Especially with the continued exposure of Drew Claxton and Vivian McKenzie’s corruption and unethical behavior.

The latest ruse has to do with the selection of a new Associate Judge for Peekskill. A few years ago the all Democratic Council under Mary Foster chose to throw out a long-time successful and admired sitting judge who was approaching the end of his career in order to appoint a totally unqualified person to the seat. Why? Because they had political payoff to give one of their major operatives throughout their campaigns; a person who was not qualified for the position but who had obtained hundreds of signatures on candidate petitions for them and attended public meetings to openly support the Democratic candidates. He ran for council in 2011 but had to withdraw. He even became a news headline in 2013 for picking a fight with a member of the public! (see article and video below) As the saying goes when speaking about these Democrats – only in Peekskill.

Read the Lohud article here:
http://www.lohud.com/story/news/local/westchester/2013/12/09/peekskill-lawyer-involved-in-near-brawl-at-center-of-judgeship-tussle-videos-/3931289/

Watch the video of the meeting:

Well, they are about to do it again! Yup, they have a hand-picked replacement for Associate Judge that will be appointed in September. Michael Morey and Darrin Rigger have directed the council majority to pick Melissa Loehr for judge. Why? Because the ‘Democratic Party’ says so. The directive has come down from above.

The problem is, one of their own wants the job – and he has made it very clear he wants the job. Colin Smith is a local lawyer and serves as a member of the Peekskill School Board. He is a Peekskill native and graduated from Peekskill High School. He has been an open and active supporter of the Peekskill Democratic Party and especially helpful to Noodle Noo during his campaign (yes, as we have pointed out before, there is a councilman named Noodle –remember, only in Peekskill).

The other problem is there have been over 20 applicants for the position. Some are very qualified for the job – but that doesn’t matter. Each member of the council was asked to pick their top 5 choices as a means to make it look like there was actually a process being used. It is laughable since all the Democratic Council members selected Loehr as one of their 5 but some did not have Colin Smith on their list. Get the picture? The Democrats are masters at masking their pre-determined outcomes by hiding behind whatever “committee” or “procedure” or “charrette” sounds good to them – remember the Paramount Committee we exposed in a previous post?

So, who is this Melissa Loehr and why would the Peekskill Democrats pick her over one of their own – and over much more qualified candidates? That is, why other than being ordered to by Morey and Rigger? Thanks to a few of our readers supplying us information and with a little research of our own, we discovered a few things about Ms. Loehr. She moved to Peekskill from Putnam Valley and has donated numerous times to the Peekskill Democratic Party and individual local Democratic candidates. She is a Public Defender of the Legal Aid Society who works out of the Bronx and was recently appointed by the Democratic majority to the City of Peekskill’s Ethics Board. She refused to answer Mayor Catalina’s questions during her ethics board interview and her conflicts are numerous and troubling.

Read Mayor Catalina’s comments in the Peekskill Post article:
http://www.peekskillpost.net/catalina-says-democrats-will-push-unqualified-appointee-fill-judgeship/

It probably doesn’t hurt that Loehr’s father is a NYS Supreme Court Judge. He is formally a Westchester County Court Judge, Civil Service Commissioner of Yonkers and was Mayor of Yonkers in the early 1980’s.

InsidePEEK will be paying attention and watching what happens in early September when the Peekskill Council votes on a new Associate Judge. We urge all residents to watch closely too. It should be entertaining to say the least – well, it won’t be for Mr. Smith. That is, unless one of the Democratic Council members breaks ranks and does the right thing.

 

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