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.

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



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.


Town of Cortlandt Action Causes Amended Lawsuit


The Town of Cortlandt is in trouble again. When will they learn?

The town was recently slapped with a serious lawsuit by an organization called The Hudson Ridge Wellness Center for imposing a moratorium as a means of improperly blocking a proposed project from moving forward (see previous InsidePEEK post).

Moratoriums can be important and useful if used properly. They is a way for a municipality to investigate and research uses of geographic locations, as is done during the Master Plan process and zoning reconsiderations. Moratoriums are NOT designed to illegally prevent a viable project AFTER the planning process for that project has begun! The Puglisi Administration has an established practice of using moratoriums as a tool to block certain projects and specific developers from exercising their legal right to move forward through the planning process once their project has been proposed. They got away with it for years but times have changed and now people are fighting back and are no longer afraid to challenge Puglisi and her rubber stamp board.

According to the Journal News, The Hudson Ridge Wellness Center has filed an amended lawsuit in response to a recent vote by the Cortlandt Town Board to reaffirm the illegal moratorium they imposed to stop the Hudson Ridge project for Quaker Ridge Road. The $15 million civil rights suit contends that members of the town board “have a long history, dating back to 1987,” of adopting moratoriums to “delay, derail and/or obstruct development projects,” in the Town of Cortlandt. Their research shows that Puglisi and town officials have used this tactic against projects at least 25 times since 1987. That is an absurd number of times and shows the absolute disregard for providing due process to applicants. By stopping so many projects it is no wonder the revenue for the town has plummeted and taxes continue to rise at an alarming rate. Just think of the $ millions in revenue that could have been collected since 1987! Think of the funds that would have been available to maintain the crumbling infrastructure the town now faces.

The town contends that this moratorium is valid since there are some differences regarding the application. Isn’t that what the planning process is for – to negotiate and discuss the aspects of a project and work together to make the project move forward as a benefit to the town? All proposals are a give and take and require careful review to take all concerns into account. Using a moratorium to stop a project in its tracks is not the legal way to approach it. The town should know this by now since they lost a lawsuit by another organization for this very reason. Now, they are going to pay a hefty sum, again, due to their actions.

InsidePEEK will continue to monitor this issue as the lawsuit moves forward.

Town of Cortlandt Faces Another Lawsuit


Cortlandt Town Board (L-R): Francis Farrell, Seth Freach, Supervisor Linda Puglisi, Debra Costello, and Richard Becker.

The Cortlandt Town Board has found itself sued, again, by a group looking to move forward with a project in the town. This time the $15 million discrimination suit hinges on a moratorium that is meant to prevent the Hudson Ridge Wellness Center from opening at the former Hudson Institute property on Quaker Ridge Road.

Once again Supervisor Puglisi and her rubber stamp board are in hot water from instituting a moratorium, their favorite tool to stop projects and the people proposing them they don’t like. The moratoriums always seem to come AFTER the project is proposed, which is a legal no-no. You would think they would be wary of continuing to use this tactic since they lost a similar suit just last year. According to the Journal News, there are also emails from Puglisi to local activists showing the intent to stop the project.

Read the entire Journal News article at their LoHud online site:

This lawsuit comes soon after the town lost its appeal to a suit successful against them from May 2013 in the NYS Supreme Court. The appeal failed in the NYS Appellate Division on October 21, 2015.

Green Materials of Westchester brought this action against the town when the Zoning Board acted on an amendment to the Town Code to deny the company to operate. There was also a moratorium imposed by the Town Board specifically intended to prevent the business from moving forward with the proposed activity. Actions by the various town officials was deemed “arbitrary and capricious” in the eyes of the law. The Cortlandt ZBA also independently determined and claimed the company intended to conduct activities that were not stated in their application. Basically, they made up stuff as to find a way to deny the application. The accusations by the board were found by the court to be “…nothing more than baseless rumor and suspicion.”

Green Materials Appellate-cover

Click on page to see entire document

InsidePEEK will continue to follow the developments of these actions and bring them to our readers.

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