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Town of Union Supervisor Files Lawsuit Against Board Members

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Town of Union Supervisor Rose Sotak has confirmed with Fox 40 that she has filed a Summons With Notice against members of the Town's Board for misusing their political power to remove her from her position.

Fox 40 spoke with Albert Millus Jr., of Hinman, Howard & Kattell, LLP., who sent over the document which alleges that Frank Bertoni, Robert Mack, Thomas Augostini, and Leonard Perfetti, "misused their positions as Town of Union, Broome County, and New York officials beyond the scope of their employment, to force the plaintiff from her position." Up to but not more than four other individuals are also listed in the complaint but are not yet named.

In February of last year, the Town of Union Board conducted an investigation that alleged that Sotak verbally abused Town employees. She was eventually indicted on one felony count of corrupt use of authority, three counts of official misconduct and one count of obstructing governmental administration. But on July 12, Broome County Judge Kevin Dooley dropped the charges after finding the evidence "was legally insufficient" to support the indictment.

Sotak's lawsuit claims that the board intentionally inflicted emotional distresses, prosecuted her maliciously, and deprived her of her rights to avoid an illegal search and seizure as well as the right to a due process.

Specifically, she is claiming that advising Town of Union employees to not to meet with her, subjected her to extreme embarrassment and prevented her from doing her job. It also alleges that the investigation was illegal and used "bogus complaints of Town employees." In addition, she says the Board Members attempted to extort her, held meetings without complying to state Open Meetings Laws, and leaked the "executive summary" to the media before it was accepted by the Town Board.

Sotak is looking to recoup $30,000 attorney's fees that she paid to defend herself in court, to be paid for her emotional distress, for additional attorney's fees for future litigation, and for punitive damages.

When asked about the lawsuit, Sotak said "I was found guilty of nothing" and "I'm not suing the Town, just the individuals."

Fox 40 reached out to Robert Mack who said the Town's Attorney Alan Pope "recommends that none of the Board Members respond individually because it is in litigation." He added that the Board is currently preparing a statement and plans to respond to the lawsuit as quickly as possible.

You can read the entire lawsuit below: