State Appellate Court hears arguments in Harrison Town supervisor case
For nearly an hour, the attorneys representing the three candidates in last November's race for Harrison Town supervisor presented their arguments before a four-judge state Appellate Court panel on Tuesday morning.
The future of the position is now in the judges' hands.
The case stems from a lower state Supreme Court ruling at the end of last year where a judge named incumbent Harrison Town Supervisor Rich Dionisio the winner of the election, despite write-in challenger Ron Belmont finishing with more votes.
That judge invalidated Belmont's candidacy after determining he had already served the maximum number of years under the town's existing term limits law.
"The law by its text, and it's in my petition, prevented Belmont from running for, being elected to, or taking and service in the office," Dionisio's attorney John Ciampoli said.
Belmont is asking the appellate-level court to overturn that decision and name him the town supervisor.
"Vacate the certification of Dionisio and order that the board certify my client and have him sworn in," Belmont's attorney Jerry Goldfeder said.
Mark Jaffe, who finished third, wants the judges to call for a special election between him and Dionisio arguing the seat should never have been filled once the candidate with the highest number of votes was invalidated.
"The [fact that a] majority of the votes were cast for an ineligible candidate does not result in the election of the candidate receiving the next highest number of votes," Jaffe's attorney Stanley Schlein said.
The court did not indicate when it could issue a ruling.