MILTON – Supervisor Dan Lewza opened Wednesday’s Town Board meeting by responding to what he called the “hit piece” on the front page of Sunday’s Albany Times Union.
The story stated that Lewza’s former secretary, Theresa Wilson, filed a harassment complaint against him, and that the town settled the case last October for an undisclosed amount, including a $5,000 insurance deductible. Lewza is quoted as denying the allegation, and Wilson as not commenting on it.
On Wednesday, Lewza said “I have never been sued on anything,” and suggested that the story was prompted by political supporters of Councilwoman Barbara Kerr, who has often clashed with Lewza, and is currently seeking the Republican nomination for supervisor. Lewza, who is not seeking re-election, is backing the town Republican Committee-endorsed candidate for supervisor, Councilman Scott Ostrander, although he said at the meeting that he originally favored the candidacy of Councilman Benny Zlotnick for the supervisor job.
Kerr and Ostrander are running in the Sept. 12 Republican primary for the supervisor nomination, and there is no Democratic candidate, although Democrats are competing for Town Board and justice positions. All current elected officials in town are Republicans.
Lewza said he could not comment in detail on the Times Union story, because of advice from lawyers and an “impending lawsuit.” Asked later by the Journal, he said the lawyers represented him personally, not the town. Asked if he planned to sue the Times Union, he declined to comment.
Also brought up at the meeting was the recent finding by the town Ethics Board upholding a complaint against Kerr, because she served on the board of the Saratoga County Women’s Republican Club at the same time as she was serving on the Town Board. Kerr, who resigned her position with the club after the complaint was filed, traded charges about the issue with Anna Stanko, chairwoman of the town Republican Committee.
After the meeting, Kerr said she intended to vote against a proposed zoning change that would make possible a controversial development on Hutchins Road. Ostrander declined to reveal which way he would vote.
During public comments, developer Bruce Boghosian announced a settlement of a lawsuit brought by his company against town Planning Board member James Staulters, regarding an incident from 2014. As part of the settlement, Staulters acknowledged trespassing on a Boghosian construction site on Greenfield Avenue, and that he “unintentionally made false statements” in saying he saw significant amounts of hazardous and automotive waste there. He did see tires in a dumpster, Staulters’ statement said.
Lewza said he expects to get answers next week from an audit seeking to determine whether there are significant shortfalls in the town budget.
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