Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Town Board Forces Unincorporated Residents to Pay Discrimination Settlement

The Greenburgh Town Board voted 3-1 (Feiner/ Morgan/Jones vs Juettner) to approve a $6.5 million payment over five years, not ten, to settle the Fortress Bible Church discrimination and constitutional rights violation case by Mr Feiner, Ms Juettner, and others. Mr Sheehan was not in attendance as we learned he was in holiday/GWB “traffic hell”. He arrived after the meeting and said had he been in attendance, he too, would have voted against the resolution. He told us that he believed the Town could have negotiated better and gotten a better “deal” had they not rushed to do this.

You may recall that Mr Feiner often says we must act swiftly on various problems. ABG believes that he does this so as to try to get what he wants done with little scrutiny before the G10 and others uncover the real information and reasons for his actions. You’ll also recall that a prior Feiner Town Board voted unanimously to prevent the Mount Vernon church from building on the property they purchased near the Sprain Brook Parkway and Dobbs Ferry Road. Each time this point is discussed, Mr Feiner insists on reiterating that it was a unanimous decision almost trying to make it sound like what he did was the correct thing to do. It doesn’t. It reminds us of the age-old saying, “Two wrongs don’t make a right.”

It’s extremely disturbing that town officials anywhere, especially in Greenburgh, would be found guilty of violating the constitutional rights of any church, destroying evidence and knowingly lie while testifying under oath. This is exactly what Mr Feiner did! What’s also disturbing is that Mr Feiner has had twenty two years to payoff residents in exchange for votes and turning a blind eye to his illegal behavior. He accomplishes this handily by seeming to perform special efforts for them. If a resident calls to say there is a pothole in front of the home, he sends a crew to fix it and makes a big deal of it. If that resident called the highway department or one of it’s assistants, they would do the same thing – unceremoniously of course – because that’s what they do. But campaigning is Mr Feiner’s gig and he’s had a long, long time to perfect it. It obviously works.

Town Comptroller Bart Talamini reported that of the $6.5 million settlement, $5.5 million won't be covered by insurance. It is believed there are three insurance companies involved in the guilty verdict settlement payoff and the Town is seeking outside counsel to try to get more money for the settlement payoff. Regardless of how many insurance companies or how much money the Town receives from them for the guilty verdict payoff, the balance must be raised and paid for by the Unincorporated Town taxpayers and doesn’t include any monies from the Villages.

The discrimination and constitutional rights violation payments will be made over five years and not the ten years originally “sold” to the public by Mr Feiner. Mr Talamini said the Town will borrow the money and taxpayers will repay $1.1 million in principal plus interest per year over the five-year period. The reality for the Unincorporated taxpayers is like having to pay the entire guilty verdict fine without any insurance money.

While Mr Feiner admitted during the trial and his equally ill-fated appeal that he had discriminated against and violated the constitutional rights of the Fortress Bible Church, he played a bit of “Fast and Furious” by exchanging a poorly worded, altered resolution (AT1) that was passed by he and his Board last night. His sanitized version of the resolution was designed to remove any admission of guilt by Mr Feiner, Ms Juettner and his prior Town Board’s illegal actions. His end-game was to make this seem like just another case of a judgement against the Town by yet another judge that didn’t like him. He publicly bemoans that he disagrees with the verdict and the settlement, but simply wants us to move on. With this vote last night, he’s able to sweep more illegal activities under the proverbial rug and away from public scrutiny. Shame on him and shame on them for going along with yet more of the same for their own political expediency.

If we are ever to have a Town that favors true open government, honesty and integrity as well as just being a nice place to live and raise a family, many things must change. Then we may finally have A Better Greenburgh.


  1. Village taxpayers paid for the insurance premiums.
    In addition, the law is clear that damages arising out of a decision coming out of the planning and other departments of the unincorporated area are B budget (or unincoporated Greenburgh) liabilities. Feiner keeps an engaging in the Big Lie - that this was all about traffic and safety. Feiner and Juettner violated their oaths of office to their everlasting shame. The bigger shame is that they remain in office and not under indictment.

  2. I would like to know if Paul Feiner can be sued personally since he was the one who lied under oath and destroyed evidence. Why should the taxpayers have to pay for his criminal acts. Once again it seems as if the Town of Greenburgh is underinsured.

  3. Has anyone considered the possibility of bringing an injunction against the settlement on behalf of uninc. property tax payers?