Judge dismisses LaBuda lawsuit, Rajsz gains Democratic nomination

By FRITZ MAYER
Posted 8/14/19

MONTICELLO, NY — A Greene County judge on August 8 dismissed former District Two Legislator Kathy LaBuda’s lawsuit against current District Two Legislator Nadia Rajsz and the Sullivan …

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Judge dismisses LaBuda lawsuit, Rajsz gains Democratic nomination

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MONTICELLO, NY — A Greene County judge on August 8 dismissed former District Two Legislator Kathy LaBuda’s lawsuit against current District Two Legislator Nadia Rajsz and the Sullivan County Board of Elections (BOE).

Rasjz beat Labuda in the May Democratic primary to win the nomination by eight votes. The lawsuit claimed that irregularities during the election process made it impossible to determine the actual winner of the vote.

LaBuda claimed that at least a dozen voters who had intended to vote for LaBuda approached the wrong table to vote but were turned away without being directed to the correct table.
There were two people who supported this version of events during the trial. One was David Lybolt, husband of Janet Lybolt, a Town of Mamakating council person, who is running to become supervisor of the Town of Mamakating.
In her decision, Judge Lisa Fisher wrote that David’s testimony was “somewhat erratic and inconsistent. Specifically, on cross examination, he changed his rendition of facts from his affidavit by clarifying that he did not actually know if the voter was misdirected.” She later added, “Quite frankly the court believes he just randomly overheard the petitioner’s name and injected himself into a situation he did not know anything about.”

The other person who supported LaBuda was an election inspector named Sandra Radinsky. She said in an affidavit and during testimony that 10 to 15 people approached the wrong voting table and were turned away, and left without voting. But her testimony changed during cross examination when she admitted she didn’t know if the voters were actually eligible to vote. “Radinsky also corrected herself that she did not know if the individuals did vote or just left without voting,” the judge wrote.

One of several people who testified in opposition to LaBuda’s claim was election inspector Donna Calabro. She said about 12 people came to her table to vote for LaBuda, but were not able to because they had gone to the wrong table. All of them, she said, were then directed to the right table and were able to cast their vote before they left the polling place. That testimony was corroborated by another election inspector.
The judge wrote in the matter of credibility that Calabro was much stronger than Radinsky and David. Fisher also noted that no one complained to the BOE about the alleged irregularities until after the absentee ballots were counted a week after the vote and LuBuda knew she had lost.

Another issue LaBuda brought up in her complaint was that Rajsz’s daughter, Deanna, who is a deputy elections commissioner mishandled some absentee ballots. Fisher wrote that LaBuda did not provide any evidence that any wrong was committed, and “the court is satisfied that no improprieties exist.”

With this decision now made, Rajsz will appear on the Republican and Democratic lines in the November election and LaBuda will appear on the Conservative and Independence lines.

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