GNH Lumber February 2024

Judge dismisses suit by New Leb justice

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NEW LEBANON—A state Supreme Court judge has dismissed the lawsuit that junior town Justice Darcy Poppey filed against other town officials.

Senior Town Justice Shaun McHugh announced the dismissal of the suit at a meet-the-candidates event Thursday, October 29, at the firehouse, and Town Attorney Jason Shaw confirmed the decision Friday.

Justice Poppey had sought to have the court prevent the Town Board from changing the status and hours of the deputy court clerk, who assists her. She also sought to have the court force the Town Board to increase her salary.

Justice Poppey’s civil suit named Town Supervisor Margaret Robertson, Town Clerk Colleen Teal, Mr. Shaw, and Town Board members Allen Livermore, Bruce Baldwin, Karl B. Chittenden and Monte Wasch as respondents and contained 454 pages of exhibits.

Justice McHugh and Court Clerk Marianne Renfro petitioned the court to be allowed to intervene and participate in the court action in support of the town; their motion was granted prior to the decision to dismiss Ms. Poppey’s action.

Although Mr. Shaw cited case law showing that the town had acted legally in budgeting for the hours and salaries of court personnel, the focus of his response was that Ms. Poppey had not met the deadline for filing her case against the town officials. Cases filed under a commonly used section of state law known as Article 78 must be filed within four months of the alleged offense.

In his decision state Supreme Court Judge Patrick J. McGrath agreed with Mr. Shaw on the deadline issue. Mr. Shaw said in an email to The Columbia Paper that Justice Poppey, who was elected to the post two years ago, “brought her case too late, and it was barred by the statute of limitations.”

The town’s insurance company will pay some of the costs of defending the officials against Ms. Poppey’s lawsuit, he said, but town taxpayers will still be responsible for $2,500 in legal costs.

 

 

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