The Republican and Democratic commissioners of the Westchester Board of Elections have requested money to pay for outside council in a case seeking to move the election district of a community of nuns from Ossining to New Castle.
Each commissioner would need separate private lawyers because they have taken opposite positions on the case, said County Attorney Robert Meehan. The county attorney’s office cannot represent them for the same reason, he said.
Former Ossining Councilman Peter Tripodi, a Republican who lost a run last fall for the Westchester Board of Legislators against incumbent Democrat Catherine Borgia, last fall challenged the location of the Maryknoll Sisters election district, saying it should be considered to be in New Castle rather than in Ossining. The Maryknoll property straddles the boarder between the two towns and Tripodi, who filed the case with Stephen Dewey, the chairman of the Ossining Republicans, argued their main address is in New Castle.
The majority of the nuns, who spend years oversees doing missionary work, vote Democratic and Tripodi argued their presence in Ossining was unfairly hurting the electoral chances of Republican candidates. Maryknoll has its own polling place, which is how the sisters’ votes are known.
A Supreme Court judge in the fall rejected Tripodi’s argument, saying that by the test of the Board of Elections, the location of the front door, the building is in Ossining. The Appellate Division refused to overturn the decision before the election.
Meehan is recommending that Daniel Pagano be hired by the county to represent Republican Commissioner Doug Colety and Schlanger & Schlanger be hired for Democratic Commissioner Reginald LaFayette. The cost for each is limited to $15,000. The Board of Legislators has to approve the request.