The City of Troy, New York, "Where Henry Hudson Turned Around."

Tuesday, August 05, 2008


The Troy City Council has been sued over the one-year moratorium against so-called 'Mini-Dorms." Background can be found here. The basis of the suit is that the moratorium discriminates against little (or mini) people.

According to sources, the Mayor has prohibited Corporation Council from representing the City Council in the matter. Under the City Charter, part of the duties of the Corporation Council is to defend suits against the City, City Council etc.

This is an odd move, even for Tutunjian. Perhaps he fell off his Segway and struck his noggin (feel free to make up your own caption for the photograph that accompanies the link).

The suit seeks equitable relief. If successful, it would abolish the moratorium against 'mini-dorms.' As far as we know, no money damages are sought. So, what has the Mayor accomplished:

1) Violated the Charter;

2) Placed his own Corporation Counsel in a very bad position;

3) The Council will now hire it's own attorney, a sort of mini-patronage gig for a Democratic attorney;

4) The Democratic attorney will be paid with funds likely coming from the Corporation Counsel's budget;

However, the last point seems unfair. If the Mayor has ordered the Corporation Counsel to not defend the Council, then maybe the cost should be born from the Mayor's budget.

The Democrats could bring an Article 78 compelling the Corporation Counsel to appear and defend the Council. They would be successful. But why bother when Tutunjian has given them the opportunity to get their own counsel.

It's a win-win for Democrats but sets a poor precedent for the future. The Corporation Counsel is legal counsel for the City, not the Mayor. There's a distinction but we suspect that distinction is beyond the current occupant of the 2nd floor.

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