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Owera Vineyards attorney, owner deny knowledge of multiple operational violations

State Liquor Authority chair questions both on accuracy of statements

Owera Vineyards owner Nancy Muserlian, left, appeared with her attorney John P. Sidd, at the State Liquor Authority meeting on Jan. 3 in New York City for authority's reconsideration of Owera's application for a liquor license. Responding to a question from SLA Chair Dennis Rosen, both Muserlian and Sidd said they were unaware of the four operational violations against Owera in 2013.

Owera Vineyards owner Nancy Muserlian, left, appeared with her attorney John P. Sidd, at the State Liquor Authority meeting on Jan. 3 in New York City for authority's reconsideration of Owera's application for a liquor license. Responding to a question from SLA Chair Dennis Rosen, both Muserlian and Sidd said they were unaware of the four operational violations against Owera in 2013.

“That would be an error,” Cook told the Cazenovia Republican when asked about the discrepancy. “I served it to Peter myself, so I know they received it.”

The winery’s East Lake Road neighbors, who have been fighting Owera’s event schedule since June, sent numerous letters to the SLA prior to its Jan. 3 meeting informing the commissioners of the false statement, said neighbor Deb Shephard Moynihan, who was also at the Jan. 3 meeting.

Moynihan and Berta Keeler, also a winery neighbor, both spoke at the hearing and not only reminded the SLA commissioners of the town citations but also told them of the Madison County citations issued against Owera.

During the hearing, SLA Chair Dennis Rosen questioned Sidd and Muserlian about the town violations, to which both responded that they were unaware of them.

“I was not aware that there were actual violations issued. In fact I am under the impression that we have not been issued any citations,” Sidd said.

“Your client never mentioned them to you in the course of preparing for this hearing, or the prior hearing?” Rosen asked.

“No. We just knew that the sheriff would come and say that it was excessive noise,” Muserlian said.

“But you knew you got a letter from the town, correct?” Rosen asked.

“Actually, no. It did not – I was not aware,” Muserlian responded. She said, however, that she was aware of the Sept. 6 notice of violation concerning excessive lighting, and those issues have been resolved.

Rosen then showed Sidd and Muserlian a copy of the town violation against Owera for excessive noise and asked Sidd if he would now “reconsider” his previous statement that Owera had no violations against it. “Yes, sir,” Sidd said.

After watching the SLA hearing on Jan. 3, East Lake Road neighbor Robert Cowan said “one thing that stuck out” to him during the hearing was when Sidd and Muserlian both plead ignorance of the town violations against the winery. “I find that hard to believe; I think they dug themselves a hole,” Cowan said. “I think Owera misrepresented themselves.”

Moynihan and Keeler agreed. “We were shocked at the claims made by both Mr. Sidd, Owera’s attorney, and by the winery owner when they said they were unaware of the noise violations against them and that they did not know something that was not only a part of the public record but was also hand-delivered to them as well as sent by certified mail,” they stated.

Jason Emerson is editor of the Cazenovia republican. He can be reached at editor@cazenoviarepublican.com.

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