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North Castle Town Board Declines To Refer Complaint Against Clerk

North Castle Town Clerk Anne Curran Photo Credit: Tom Auchterlonie
Mario Ruggiero, pictured at a North Castle Town Board meeting. Photo Credit: Tom Auchterlonie

ARMONK, N.Y. -- The North Castle Town Board unanimously voted not to refer a complaint about Town Clerk Anne Curran to the local Board of Ethics.

The complaint accused her of violations stemming from communication about former Councilwoman Becky Kitteridge's funeral.

The complaint, brought by resident Mario Ruggiero, was criticized by board members.

“I'm not going to waste their time on this,” said Supervisor Michael Schiliro in stating his opposition to a referral.

The vote against a referral was made at the board's Sept. 23 meeting.

Schiliro claimed there were at least 16 falsehoods in the complaint and called the allegations “indecent at best.” The supervisor also praised Curran's conduct.

“She carries herself professionally, she does her job professionally and with high skill, and she runs the office which is the gateway to our community,” Schiliro said.

In his complaint, Ruggiero also accuses Curran of trying to make several board members look bad, including then-Supervisor Howard Arden, then-Councilwoman Diane Roth and then-Councilman John Cronin. He claims this was done by not releasing a suggestion from Cronin, which came as part of an email conversation for whether to televise the service, to instead have a video of Kitteridge's accomplishments and life. In contrast, Ruggiero contends that Curran released the other parts of the conversation in a town-wide email blast.

Ruggiero claims that discussion from board members about televising the funeral – it was noted that she died on Aug. 25, 2013 and the ceremony was held in front of Town Hall – came after the event. He accuses Schiliro, who was then a Councilman, along with fellow board member Stephen D'Angelo, of using a private email group. He also accuses Barbara DiGiacinto, a friend and cousin of Kitteridge who was later elected to the board, of being part of it.

“Within the Town Hall walls partisanship is rampant with Ms. Curran at the helm,” Ruggiero states in a letter included in his complaint. “As an elected official by the people, for the people, she was continuously biased against and sought to embarrass and discredit the previous Supervisor and board.”

Resident Ed Woodyard read a statement from Sue Miller, an organizer of the funeral, which criticized Ruggiero's complaint.

“It is filled with lies that only are intended to make her look like a co-conspirator,” the statement says.

Curran declined to comment about the matter when asked following the meeting.

Town Attorney Roland Baroni explained there is no obligation to refer the letter to the ethics board.

“I'm really not upset,” Ruggiero said following the meeting when asked for a reaction to the board's vote. He also indicated that he is considering litigation against the town in reaction, which would be through an Article 78 proceeding.

Ruggiero also denies making personal attacks against Curran or attacking Kitterridge.

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