A state Supreme Court judge in Monroe County threw out a lawsuit Wednesday against current Lt. Gov. Robert Duffy, which alleged he improperly pushed the Rochester Housing Authority to throw out its executive director when Duffy served as the mayor of that city last year.
From the Democrat and Chronicle’s David Andreatta:
The lawsuit, brought by former RHA Executive Director Anthony DiBiase in June, alleged that the authority breached its employment contract with him when it asked him to resign or be forced out, and that Duffy defamed him and meddled in the episode when he wrote two letters to authority commissioners expressing a lack of confidence in DiBiase’s leadership.
Monroe County Supreme Court Justice Thomas VanStrydonck ruled in a decision dated Friday and filed this week that Duffy sent his letters in the capacity of his official duties as mayor and “as such, they are subject to the privilege of absolute immunity.” The mayor is responsible by statute for appointing five of the seven authority commissioners.
VanStrydonck also dismissed the complaint against the Housing Authority because DiBiase had signed a voluntary resignation.
DiBiase resigned in May 2010 following reports in the Democrat and Chronicle that he was drawing a second salary from a nonprofit development corporation created with the financial assistance of the authority.
Commissioners called on DiBiase to step down following an internal investigation that found he did not disclose his second salary to the authority and that the arrangement violated his contract.
DiBiase’s lawyer, Larry Andolina, said Wednesday that he had not yet received the decision but that he would review it with his client and determine whether to appeal.
(Photo courtesy of Nazareth College)