Exclusive Political Analysis
WHITE PLAINS, NY and YONKERS, NY — It was Wednesday, April 24, 2019th when three disparate contenders vying to represent Yonkers City Council District 3 were themselves or their legal counsel present at Hon. Supreme Court Justice William J. Giacomo’s Courtroom.
Yonkers City Council District 3 aspirant AloSubomi MacCauley faced a challenge to the legitimacy of the petitions garnered on her behalf by fellow opponent Tasha Diaz. Ms. MacCauley was represented by Legal Counsel. I did not hear his name. Legal Counsel Michael Calvi, Esq., represented Yonkers City Council District 3 contender Tasha Diaz.
Yonkers City Democratic Committee designee Dennis Robertson’s garnered petition signatures were also being challenged. Legal Counsel Larry Sykes, Esq., representing Yonkers City Council District 3 opponent Tasha Diaz questioned the legitimacy of some of the petition signatories that ascribed their respective names in support of Mr. Robertson. Mr. Robertson chose to “represent himself”.
Upon hearing the issues and concerns offered by Mr. Calvi, Esq., and Mr. Larry Sykes, Esq., each were asked By Hon. Justice Giacomo if they could substantiate their allegations to the Court by Friday, April 26, 2019. Each lawyer advised they could abide by the Court’s request.
The proceedings on Wednesday were attended by Westchester County Board of Elections (WCBoE) Commissioner Reginald LaFayette (Democrat) and fellow Commissioner Douglas Colety (Republican), among WCBoE staff members.
Hon. Justice Giacomo advised Mr. Calvi to stand before him in readiness on Friday, April 26th at 10am. Mr. Sykes was to attend the Court in readiness at 2pm of the same day.
On Friday, at 10am, Mr. Calvi advised the Hon. Giacomo that of some 26 names ascribed to petitions on behalf of Ms. AloSubomi, alleged to be invalid for one reason or another, yet none of those persons alleging such conduct were able or willing to attend the Court at 10am Friday morning. And so Mr. Calvi withdrew his contention due to a lack of individuals coming forward with their respective allegations. Ms. AloSubomi survived the challenge. Her campaign effort will be judged by voters participating in the June 25, 2019th Democratic Primary.
The discourse engaged by Hon. Justice Giacomo and Mr. Calvi ended so quickly that the Hon. Justice Giacomo requested whether Mr. Sykes could attend the court in sufficient time for his allegations to be heard before Hon. Justice Giacomo was required to hear a case that was slated for 11am that morning.
Mr. Sykes was located representing another client on another case in the White Plains Supreme Court building. This reporter was expecting to hear the issues against Mr. Robertson at 2:00pm but it was moved up to 1pm in light of Hon. Justice Giacomo concluding the case before him sooner than expected and Mr. Sykes also available to attend the Court at 1pm.
Limping back to Hon. Justice Giacomo’s Court I spied a figure from the back I could not help but recognize, still there was a possibility I was wrong. But he wore a full length Camel colored coat that matched his reddish hair. Not being able to step up my gait in order to catch up with this unknown man, I sensed I was right when I saw this man enter Hon. Judge Giacomo’s Court. It was Liam McLaughlin, Legal Counsel, and former Yonkers City Council President.
I was pleased to see him since he last served as Council President. Mr. McLaughlin revealed himself to Hon. Justice Giacomo that he was representing Mr. Robertson.
And so the Court beseeched Mr. Sykes to present his challenge. Within minutes Mr. McLaughlin noted that the allegations described by Mr. Sykes were not those originally presented as objections to the Westchester County Board of Elections and therefore could not now be admitted to disqualify those signatures as they were not initially so noted. In other words, the allegations had to stay as they were originally defined and could not be redefined after the initial time to note these issues. The case noted by Mr. McLaughlin was a 2017 decision which has since been upheld in six disparate cases. Hon. Justice Giacomo seemed unfamiliar with the case or simply wanted to review the law. Perhaps 15 minutes or so later Hon. Justice Giacomo concurred that the ruling was indeed applicable. One was not permitted to go back to redefine the original comprehension of what was assumed then from what may be judged thereafter.
It was that very ruling that undermined the issues that Mr. Sykes could bring forward since the initial appraisal of the names thought to be invalidated by additional deficiencies could not be entered. Mr. Robertson’s capacity to maintain his effort will therefore await the voters’ decision at the ballot box. It will likely be a cliffhangar.
The challenge now may be as simple and/or as complicated as getting out the vote. No other challengers will come before this contest from any other party line. The takeaway is that the winner in the June 25, 2019th primary is the next Yonkers City Council District 3 Councilmember.