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Town of Tusten attorney disputes our reporting

December 26, 2012

The legal battle between the Town of Tusten and Ned Lang was not “an ongoing legal battle between Lang and the town attorney, Jeffrey Clemente, over a pro-gas drilling sign.”

These actions filed with the Justice Court were on behalf of the town, not the town attorney, and were not over a “pro-gas drilling sign.” They were over an oversized political sign. The message on the sign is irrelevant to the zoning violation.

The article then went on to state that “Mr. Clemente wants to hit me with a $92,000 fine for a sign... that was two square foot bigger than the law allows.” I have never taken a position as to fines concerning the Lang cases, even when asked. That decision is a board decision.

The $92,000 representation is a fiction, as was the statement by Mr. Lang that the offending signs were “two square foot bigger than the law allows.” The law allows a four-square-foot sign. Therefore Mr. Lang’s assertion was that his signs were six square feet. In fact, his three offending signs were 29.25 square feet, 32 square feet and 64 square feet. The assertion that these signs were six square feet is shameless.

Further, it is irresponsible for this newspaper to be quoting law from an individual who is a septic pumper with a high school diploma stating conclusions of law such as “conflict of interest” and “selective enforcement,” when he is not schooled in law, nor has he the expertise or legal knowledge upon which to base the legal conclusions that he constantly asserts.

Mr. Mayer has shown a lack of proper journalistic standards by failing to fact check the article. As in the past with Mr. Mayer, the tone of this article is decidedly anti-town. This is remarkable, in light of the fact that Ned Lang ran against The River Reporter in his run for the post of town councilman asserting that a vote for Andrea Reynosa was a vote to have The River Reporter run the town.

Responsible journalism is expected from The River Reporter, not tabloid carelessness and the unnecessary stoking of useless and unproductive controversy.

It is expected by the undersigned and all responsible people of the Town of Tusten that the coming year will bring better behavior from both The River Reporter and Mr. Mayer.

Jeffrey P. Clemente
Narrowsburg, NY