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Trio seeking LIPA elections file appeal

Photo of the stacks from the LIPA plant

Photo of the stacks from the LIPA plant in Northport. (Oct. 28, 2010) (Credit: Newsday / Thomas A. Ferrara)

Electoral gadfly Gregory Fischer and allies have appealed a State Supreme Court ruling that threw out their lawsuit to force elections for trustees of the Long Island Power Authority.

Fischer and co-plaintiffs Roger Lewis and Bill Jurow earlier this week filed in the Appellate Division in Brooklyn after State Supreme Court Justice Jerry Garguilo on Aug. 6 dismissed their lawsuit, which maintained they were being disenfranchised because the post of LIPA trustee, listed in the state election law, was not included on the fall ballot, despite nominating petitions filed by the three men.

“The judge didn’t hold the board of elections to their responsibility, which is to follow the election law,” said Fischer, adding, “If they follow the election law, our chances are 100 percent.”

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The state as well as the Nassau and Suffolk boards of election opposed the legal challenge, noting that state Public Utilities Law makes the 15 members of the LIPA board appointed positions, which trumps the inconsistency of the provision in election law.

Garguilo noted that in oral arguments the plaintiffs could not answer specifics such as the term of a trustee’s office.

“The answer is none, we don’t know or undecided,” said Garguilo in his decision. “In applying the appropriate statutory law,” the judge added, “it is clear to the court that the LIPA trustee positions are appointed, not elected.”

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