By: Joel Grossbarth
A lawsuit has been filed in Rockland County Supreme Court by one of the challengers seeking to unseat the Airmont Village Mayor and two current trustees. Nathan Bubel, a candidate for mayor of Airmont in next month’s elections claims that current Mayor Phil Gigante and Trustees Paul Marchesani and Anthony Valvo’s designating petitions are replete with errors and violations of New York State Election Law to the point where they ask a Supreme Court judge to invalidate the petitions. If successful, Mayor Gigante and the two trustees would be unable to seek reelection and their names would not be on the March 19, 2019 ballot.
Bubel’s lawsuit is joined by Brian Downey, a candidate running with Bubel for the position of trustee. It is believed that Bubel has the support of some of the Village’s religious community. Recently, Airmont has been the subject of several high-profile lawsuits filed by members of the religious community claiming that Gigante and his administration have passed laws and engaged in a pattern of actions in the Village, which discriminate against Jewish residents and violate federal laws. In the last three months, two separate lawsuits have been filed claiming religious discrimination.
Former Mayor Ralph Bracco is also running for Mayor. Bracco’s petitions were not challenged. Ralph Bracco is running on a platform to unite the Village and create harmony with Airmont. According to Bracco, “Airmont should never have any lawsuits in the future, and the Village should be accessible and available to all of its residents.” Bracco is running based upon what he perceives as a vast divide created by Gigante and his team while in office.
The lawsuit has been assigned to Hon. Sherri L. Eisenpress who will have to rule on the allegations in Bubel’s lawsuit. Whatever decision Judge Eisenpress makes will have a great effect on the outcome of Airmont’s election.