Monday, July 25, 2011


Tal Rappleyea, attorney for Stuyvesant and many other towns in the area, although apparently recused in favor of special counsel Whiteman Osterman and Hanna in cases involving me, wrote a letter to the board of supervisors and threatens to sue me for libel.

Mr. Rappleyea said, “I had hoped to not spend your time with this matter and that with the passage of time the matter would resolve itself.”

Matters of fact and law do not or should not resolve themselves in and of themselves. Basically, he hoped I would go away and everyone would forget what I said.

In this letter he responds specifically to some of the issues raise on this blog, such as the way I say "fraudulent invoice" and "took $10,000 without paperwork." After reading his letter, let me re-assert, as we seem to be doing these days around here, that both charges remain in effect. He does not provide paperwork to justify the $10,000. His story about the retainer does not hold water in about 4 ways. And documents currently linked to this blog already rebut the arguments regarding the invoice.

As to the charges he makes against me, they prove, rather that disprove, the essential argument I am making in Federal Court starting in a few weeks.

I wrote to the board of supervisors to ask for a hearing. They never responded. As Mr. Rapplyea says in his letter, he hoped the matter of whether or no Valerie Bertram should be the chair of the county ethics board would simply go away without a hearing. I argued that when I told Ms. Bertram about ethics problems in her government, she tried to put me in jail. I thought that if this were true, and it is, it might disqualify her for the position of chair of the ethics board.

I won't get into the details right now, although I wrote up an extensive and supported response to Mr. Rappleyea's letter... I guess I'll hold it. In my response, I have documents linked to support everything I say: audio, video, signed official documents.

Think about what documents Mr. Rappleyea might provide to prove his version of events. Think about what documents I might provide to prove my version of events.

Read Mr. Rappleyea's letter thinking about chronology, mine and his. Mr. Rappleyea and I explain my conflict with the town differently, the big picture.

Here is my version of the big picture: I moved to Columbia County in 2003, Stuyvesant in 2004, opened my business in 2005, and was approved for a home occupation permit to board dogs without condition or complaint unanimously in June 2009. I told the board I had been operating since 2005 without a permit, since I didn't know I needed one, and no one raised any questions about that.

In December 2009, the zoning control officer began sending me certified "notices of violation" with the word "imprisonment" highlighted in yellow highlighter on them, accusing me of loud barking noise. I was surprised and didn't know who might have complained since my facility is more than 1000 feet from then nearest neighbor or road and all my nearest neighbors wrote letters of support for the planning board in 2009.

Although I didn't think the process was fair or the charge made any sense, I tried to work with the town to resolve the problem. I told the zoning guy for the town to tell people to call me if they hear something that they think is coming from me and I promised to build more wooden fences and install steel doors and put in more air circulation.

In August 2010, the Ennis revoked my permit arbitrarily without evidence, without a hearing. When I wrote to the town clerk to ask how to appeal, I was denied the chance to appeal. After that email, I decided that the town of Stuyvesant was hopeless corrupt and have been on them like white on rice ever since. When Ennis revoked my permit I had never been to a town meeting, had never really got too deeply into town politics, other than at election time to support the people I thought best for the job, not the current government.

In short:
2005-November 2009: no problems
2009: election
2009 December - August 2010: notice of violation, trying to work with the town, spending money needlessly, calling and writing to Ennis
August 2010 to now: conflict

What is Mr. Rappleyea's chronology? Just one of many problems with his letter...

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