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SEP 01 - SEP 08, 2015

Wasting Taxpayer Cash to Fight Matteo Anello Verdict, is Very ‘Appealing’ to Mayor Dyster

By Anna Howard

SEP 01, 2015

An invitation to donate up to $1000 to attend an evening with Mayor Paul Dyster hosted by the law firm of Hodgson Russ, a Buffalo law firm that seriously wants Mayor Paul Dyster to win reelection.


Sources have told the Niagara Falls Reporter that Mayor Paul Dyster has made the decision to fund an appeal to the Matteo Anello jury award as handed down in Buffalo federal court in February of this year.

Mr. Anello claimed that his right to free speech was violated during the public speaking portion of a 2007 council meeting as he was removed from the speaker’s podium by a city police officer, and his microphone was shut off from the dais by council members.

Shortly after the verdict and award were announced, Mayor Dyster said that his city hall law department had recommended an appeal to the verdict and award. The mayor said at the time that it was critical that an appeal be made in order to protect the integrity of city government. At the time the mayor never mentioned additional legal costs for filing an appeal. The Dyster administration had lost two kicks at the Anello free speech can, and yet somehow Dyster believed he could win the appeal. Mayor Dyster can afford to think such thoughts because he is, after all, only spending other people’s money…taxpayer money to be exact.

Right now the city is on the hook for approximately: $130,000 for the Anello award; a likely $200,000 plus for Anello legal fees; and, more than $200,000 for Hodgson Russ legal fees to date. On top of this you can count the added fees for Hodgson Russ to handle the appeal and any other fees that could crop up as the mayor and his favorite Buffalo, law firm churn the account in the name of “integrity” and “honor.”

Giggle and smirk is more like it.

It was August 19 - less than two weeks ago - that the Hodgson Russ law firm held a high-end political fundraiser for Mayor Dyster in Buffalo at $250 per person, $350 per couple for sponsorships at $500 for silver, $750 for gold and $1000 for platinum. Those are indeed pricey figures and well out of reach of the Niagara Falls rabble, no matter how politically connected the rabble think they are or how critical they believe themselves to be in the life of Mayor Paul Dyster.

The Reporter estimates with relative certainty that the city could have settled with Mr. Anello more than five years ago for under $80,000. Instead the city refused to negotiate, refused to admit wrong and has indefensibly saddled the city taxpayers with a current debt of close to a half million dollars…with that number growing as Dyster, his corporation counsel, Craig Johnson and Hodgson Russ appear ready to file paperwork and fight some sort of “good fight” that was a sucker’s bet from the get-go.

Dyster, Johnson and Hodgson Russ can well afford to do all of this legal tap dancing because it’s all based on the theory of OPM …Other People’s Money…taxpayer money.

How sweet it is for Dyster and Hodgson Russ, but how bitter the taste for city residents who are forced to pay the bill for Dyster’s unconscionable spending.






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Managing Editor: Dr. Chitra Selvaraj
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