THEY DO IT ALL THE TIME
Does every act of the Rensselaer County Legislature violate the law?
Could be, if that kind of thing concerns you.
New York State has an Open Meetings Law. If you don't believe us, just head into your study, peruse your shelves and take down your copy of the Public Officers Law. It's Sec 100 and the specific provision is in Section 108.*
Essentially, all meetings of a public body (Paris Hilton excluded) must be open to the public, with limited exceptions. At times, the public body can go into Executive Session to discuss law suits, confidential personnel matters, dinner orders...).
The law does not apply to caucuses.
In a Caucus, members of a political party can discuss pretty much anything: political business; whose got the nicest ass; who makes the best faux-flatulence sound with their armpit.
A Caucus is a private meeting of a members of a legislative body who are members of the same political party.
Bob Mirch is a Conservative who Caucuses with the Republicans and therefore, the exemption does not apply and when they meet they do so in violation of the Open Meetings Law.
We've been told Marge DerGurahian is an enrolled Conservative or a blank. Thus, the Troy City Council Republicans violate the law when they Caucus.
Mahoney was an enrolled Conservative. Did he Caucus with Dunne? If so, law violations.
It may very well be that the law is silly. Perhaps it should be that if you were endorsed by a party yada, yada. Who knows. That isn't the law and it's broken all the time by the branch of government that creates the laws.
Hard to take 'em seriously when they can't follow the law. In a supreme irony, the new council president lost his last job because he couldn't or wouldn't follow the law.
It may sound petty but this is how it starts. Cutting corners here, cutting corners there. First you violate the Open Meetings Law, then you're into theft, robbery, murder and then breaking the Sabbath. Violations of the Open Meetings Law is a gate-way crime. What do we tell the children?
We suggest they turn themselves in and come clean. Or perhaps a scared straight program is in order.
And that's one to grow on.
GIRLS GONE MILD?
Sober has dropped her lawsuit against DA Trish DeAngelis. We never thought much of the merits of the case. Sober never claimed she was fired because of her gender, race, religion or any of the big no-no's. She didn't even sound like a whistler-blower because frankly, she never blew the whistle. Not until she was fired.
It's a suit that shouldn't have been brought but it was a lot of fun while it lasted. The legal merit was nil but the satirical merit? Fantastic. Bolton has the story. Franco, at The Record, had the story yesterday but we couldn't find a link.
Makes us wonder if someone should give Coleman and Sober a little slap on the wrist.
We certainly didn't need Sober in order to examine the problems in the DA's Office. Sober was the least of Trish's worries. In our estimate, there's a lot more teeth to the Katrin Ellis mess. We wonder if our well-paid legislature will look into that matter.
* The County and City have told us they have lost their copies and are not all that interested in getting them back.