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Sullivan named in fourth Article 78 proceeding

Tom Oot and his business partners in Subdivisions Inc. and J.B. Quarry Inc. filed a fourth Article 78 petition in Madison County Court earlier this month. Motions are expected to be heard April 3 before Judge Elizabeth Garry.

Oot's affidavit details the timeline and actions taken by him and his partners to obtain a special use permit for mining on Quarry Road in the town of Sullivan. In addition to repeating some of the same issues contained in the prior Article 78 pleadings, Oot accuses Supervisor John M. Becker (R,C,I -- Sullivan) of interfering in the special use permit application process.

"In an effort to prevent an impartial determination or interpretation by the [ZBA], the Town Supervisor has engaged in an ongoing scheme to delay and obstruct the [ZBA]," Oot wrote.

Oot also accuses Becker of changing members of the ZBA " in order to stack the deck against us." He went on to state that ZBA member Donald Henry " resigned from the [ZBA] based upon the illegal and unethical practice of the Town Supervisor and Town Board in passing two separate local laws intended and designed specifically to frustrate and obstruct the decision-making role of the [ZBA]."

"As stated by Mr. Henry, at a Public Meeting held for the Town of Sullivan, on December 11, 2008, he stated that he would not be a party or participant to the Town Supervisor's and Town Board's repeated attempts to pass new law solely to frustrate and obstruct the role of the [ZBA]," Oot wrote in his affidavit.

Oot further blames the resignation of ZBA Chairman James Kirsch on Becker's alleged untoward actions.

"The town Supervisor, therefore, was able to hand-pick two replacement members for the [ZBA] to render a decision which would prevent the Town Planning Board from issuing a special use permit to the applicants," Oot wrote.

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