The Court Report
By Richard Blassberg
Guardian Publisher Calls Upon DA DiFiore To Enforce The Law
Last Tuesday, March 11, Guardian publisher Sam Zherka forwarded the letter below to Westchester District Attorney Janet Di-
Fiore, effectively formally filing a complaint against Yonkers Mayor Phil Amicone, his Police Commissioner, Edmund Hartnett, and
several other members of his administration.
Mr. Zherka told a press conference, last Thursday, “I am calling upon District Attorney Janet DiFiore to enforce the laws that govern the State equally. Merely because the perpetrators are elected and appointed officials, they should not be held above the law.” Zherka went on to explain, “Mayor Amicone, Commissioner Hartnett, and other members of the Administration engaged in unlawful confiscation, illegal possession, theft and destruction of many of our newsracks. Twenty of them still have not been recovered.”
He went on, “It wasn’t until we caught them on videotape that they admitted having them, and what they had done. Until we filmed them, they were denying any knowledge of, or involvement in, the disappearance of 56 of our newsracks missing from around the City of Yonkers.”
240 North Avenue, Suite 212
New Rochelle, New York 10801
March 11, 2008
Hon. Janet DiFiore
Westchester County District Attorney
111 Martin Luther King, Jr., Blvd
White Plains, N.Y. 10601
Re: Larceny, Criminal Mischief Complaint, Criminal Solicitation
Dear Ms. DiFiore:
During the course of July and August 2007 employees of the City of Yonkers unlawfully removed dozens of newsrack boxes which The Guardian News, Inc. had placed within the City for the distribution of The Westchester Guardian, a weekly newspaper that I publish. A number of those boxes, which cost $250 per unit, were stolen and have never been returned to either me or my corporation (The Guardian News, Inc.). Numerous other boxes were damaged and/or destroyed by City employees in connection with the boxes’ illegal confiscation.
Now that a Federal Judge, Charles L. Brieant, has ruled that the seizure of the newsrack boxes and the newspapers contained in them violated my First Amendment rights as well as those of The Westchester Guardian, Inc., I am requesting that you assign a member of your staff to prosecute the individuals responsible for the thefts and damage including Mayor Amicone, Police Commissioner Hartnett (both of whom I believe, based upon Judge Brieant’s decision, orchestrated that unlawful activity), the individual members of the police department and the members of the City’s Public Works Department who actually removed/destroyed and/or damaged the newsrack boxes.
For your consideration I am enclosing a copy of Judge Brieant’s opinion which is the predicate for my request to you. In that connection I anticipate your prompt written response.