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Insurance now covers judge’s costs

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HUDSON—Columbia County coffers will be reimbursed the $43,000 it paid to cover Kinderhook Town/Village Justice David Dellehunt’s legal expenses.

The county’s insurance company, New York Municipal Reciprocal (NYMIR), had originally rejected the county’s claim for reimbursement of the legal expenses the county had been ordered to pay in a September 1 State Supreme Court stipulation signed by Judge Kevin M. Dowd.

The $43,000 payment “in full satisfaction of all [Justice Dellehunt’s] claims for sanctions, expenses and attorneys’ fees” was split evenly between the Town and Village of Kinderhook for costs incurred by Justice Dellehunt in his pursuit of legal action against District Attorney Paul Czajka in connection with altered court documents.

The justice and district attorney had been embroiled in a long legal wrangle over the DA’s quest to obtain recordings and transcripts of Kinderhook Court proceedings that are part of the public record.

The court found that the DA had no involvement in the changes made to court documents.

County Attorney Robert Fitzsimmons told The Columbia Paper Wednesday morning, December 2, that “we took an appeal” of the insurance company’s decision to reject the claim. He said he recently heard that the company had now decided to grant the $43,000 claim under the county’s public officials’ policy. Payment is expected soon, said the attorney. NYMIR also insures all the county’s vehicles and buildings, Mr. Fitzsimmons said.

To contact Diane Valden email dvalden@columbiapaper.com

 

 

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