Haverstraw Twilight Zone: Berman Carried Petitions for Piperato

BY DYLAN SKRILOFF

1013734_583712308318650_402791321_n-e1374559365415In late July, Haverstraw highway superintendent candidate Barry Berman, a former treasurer of the Haverstraw Ambulance Corps and former member of the town Architectural Review Board, was arrested and charged with felony coercion and larceny for allegedly attempting to solicit a $3,000 payoff from fellow candidate John Piperato in return for Berman dropping out of the race.

A new twist in the story can be added as a FOIL request has revealed that earlier in the campaign Berman carried designating petitions for Piperato and gained 40 signatures for him. At the same time Berman carried petitions for Piperato to qualify for the Democratic ballot, his own name was on designating petitions alongside the ticket of council candidates Rickey Sanchez and Andres Nunez Jr. as well as clerk candidate Bernard Carella and tax receiver candidate Dian Cifuni.

It seems then that Berman was carrying petitions against his own campaign. Furthermore, a neighborhood resident said they observed a Piperato sign on Berman’s lawn during early June, even though Berman’s own campaign petitions had already gone out.

The actual intentions of Berman’s campaign are now murky to say the least.

Piperato told the Rockland County Times he had been unaware that Berman was running on the Sanchez ticket when Berman gathered signatures for him in early June. Piperato said he could not comment further on the situation due to the proceeding court case.Picture 4 Picture 3

The FOIL request revealed that Democratic town supervisor candidate Rita Louie also carried petitions for Piperato. Louie and Piperato have not officially endorsed each other’s campaigns, although some supporters of Haverstraw Town Supervisor Howard Phillips, a mutual adversary of Piperato and Louie, have accused the pair of working in tandem.

Ricky Sanchez said he invited Berman onto his ticket because he had a long history of positive involvement in the village and town.