It's difficult to decide which honeymoon was shorter lived: this one (see bottom of page one) or this one. They only difference between the two is that in the case of North Greenbush.... people got hurt.
NORTH GREENBUSH DEFILED - THE SAGA CONTINUES
Linda Mandel-Clemente has retained famed defense attorney Ray Kelly. Kelly, a fine attorney, is somewhat constrained by his client's bizarre behavior. Kelly is repeating his client's lame mantra about her reasons for stealing files. From Kate Perry's story:
She kept the files after resigning in December, said her attorney, Ray Kelly, because the town's new attorney, Josh Sabo, represented an entity that took legal action against the town.
"Every attorney is mandated by law and by ethics to maintain the confidences and secrets in every file until the file is turned over to a successor attorney," Kelly said. "Every attorney has the obligation to ensure that the attorney that's taking over the file does not have a conflict of interest relating to that file."
Uhmm, Ray? There also another ethics rule, kind of a corollary to the first: "Don't break into your former client's offices and steal files when you think no one will be around because it's not only a Saturday but it's also New Year's Eve and be sure as hell that you don't do it right before the swearing in ceremony for the new board." Remember that little rule?
Clemente's defense can be easily dealt with by any competent ADA. First, confidentiality is the client's, not the attorney's privilege. Clemente should have drafted a letter to the new supervisor raising her concerns and left the files in the town office. But confidentiality is a smokescreen for Clemente's odd behavior.
If she was so concerned, why wasn't this taken care of when she resigned as town attorney. Clemente could have brought the issue to Tazbir while he was still in office? Why did Clemente wait until three weeks after she had resigned to fulfill her "ethical" obligation? Maybe her ski mask wasn't back from the cleaners. Perhaps her get-away driver was all booked-up.
You know what this smells like? You guessed it.
Congrats go out to Ray Kelly and Linda Mandel-Clemente as the first recipients of the 2006 Smells Like Bullshit Award. The two will now be finalists in our end of the year contest.*
* The Smells Like Bullshit award winner will be flown to Utah for some skiing fun with reformer John Sweeney and a bunch of lobbyists to be named later.