Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — In the matter of state Senate candidates Amy Hope Witryol versus Timothy D. Moriarty, set for a hearing this morning in state Supreme Court, Moriarty apparently has a Long Island attorney representing him by phone.
Witryol, the Democratic and Working Families party-endorsed candidate for 62nd senate district, is attempting to have Moriarty’s Working Families nominating petitions invalidated on the basis they’re fraudulent. The petitions listed a Committee on Vacancies that did not contain a minimum of three Working Families party members as the petitions said it did.
In her suit, Witryol charged the Moriarty petitions are a furtive effort by incumbent Sen. George Maziarz, a Republican, to grab the Working Families ballot line for himself.
A Committee to Fill Vacancies would nominate a substitute candidate in the event Moriarty declined to be on the ballot.
Moriarty, a North Tonawanda resident, is a registered member of the Working Families party, but according to his petitions — which other party members signed to put his name on the ballot — he didn’t even carry any of his own petitions. The documents were carried exclusively by Republican-associated county employees, political leaders and a Maziarz senate staff member, Glenn Aronow.
Witryol wants Moriarty’s vacancies committee invalidated because two of four listed members are not Working Families party members, and/or to have the Moriarty petitions thrown out entirely because the carriers, all notaries public or commissioners of deeds, knew they contained false information.
Her suit is against Moriarty, the four listed members of his vacancies committee and Maziarz personally, as well as the state Board of Elections and the state Working Families party executive committee.
Maziarz previously dismissed Witryol’s suit as a “desperate” measure — but he didn’t deny an association with the Moriarty petitions. In fact, he told Greater Niagara Newspapers that his office had checked with the state Board of Elections regarding the rules on Committees to Fill Vacancies and determined one isn’t necessary in petitioning.
The attorney representing Moriarty, John Ciampoli, is considered an expert in New York State election law. He’s presently the Nassau County Attorney, is former Counsel to the state Senate Republican Campaign Committee.
Ciampoli sought and was granted the right to represent Moriarty by phone during the proceedings today in Judge Catherine Nugent Panepinto’s court room.
In a late Monday phone interview, Witryol said, “it’s significant that they’ve hired a special attorney from Long Island. Who’s desperate? ... To me this (case) is simple: The information (on Moriarty’s petitions) is false ... It will be interesting hearing their argument (why) this is not a problem.”