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Peter Hotaling, Westerlo’s former assessor, withdrew the Article 78 proceding he had filed against the town after it unceremoniously allowed other candidates to apply for the position. Hotaling had been in the position for 19 years, and now works as Rensselaerville’s sole assessor.

Witnesses called by Sharf Din, who acted as his own attorney, did not dispute the evidence and acknowledged the violation was longstanding and still ongoing, wrote Town Justice Denise Randall in her decision. Din’s witnesses offered various cultural and psychological explanations for Din’s behavior, she wrote, but “an explanation for illegal behavior is not the same as a defense.” 

On Friday, March 13, Acting Supreme Court Justice Denise A. Hartman ruled in favor of Berne farmer Emily Vincent, who had been illegally removed as a full member of the planning board on Jan. 1 and challenged the town’s action in court.

NEW SCOTLAND — As Jeanne Picard Fish remains in a Valatie nursing home, several offers have been made for her property, once a popular community gathering place, Picard’s Grove, at the foot of the Helderberg escarpment.

Acting Supreme Court Justice Denise A. Hartman heard oral arguments today concerning Berne resident Emily Vincent, who was removed from her post as full member of the town planning board before the end of her term and made an alternate. She has filed an Article 78 against the town, requesting that the decision be nullified. 

Harry Bonilla 

GUILDERLAND — On Feb. 6, a jury found Harry Bonilla guilty of two felonies — second-degree attempted kidnapping as a sexually motivated felony and first-degree sex abuse — and a misdemeanor, third-degree assault.

The case was heard before Judge Roger D. McDonough in Albany County Supreme Court.

In back-to-back court filings, Stewart’s Shops states that its lawsuit against the village of Voorheesville should not be dismissed because the village’s adoption of a new zoning code was “far from an ordinary municipal comprehensive planning and zoning enactment process.” Voorheesville responded, again, that the case should be dismissed because Stewart’s latest argument does nothing to alter “the conclusion that the Village lawfully changed its zoning code for the district in which the subject property is located.”

Tensions rose but manners prevailed as the Berne Planning Board submitted a letter to its newly appointed chairman, Thomas Spargo, announcing its desire to see a member reinstated who was effectively fired in the middle of her term to make room for Spargo. The planning board cited a recently-filed lawsuit against the town and Spargo as one aspect of the fallout Berne is experiencing after the controversial decision.

Samuel Groezinger

The opposing attorneys disagreed over whether Samuel Groezinger had taken appropriate responsibility. 

Neighbors expressed empathy after hearing from the homeowner’s relatives, but remain concerned about their property values. 

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