Saratoga Springs Mayor Ron Kim has continued his campaign against City Court Judge Jeffrey Wait. The history of this debacle goes back to Mayor Kim’s unsuccessful attempt to act as the City Attorney in the case of a code violation involving Church Street Trust (CST). Mayor Kim has now retained an attorney on behalf of the city to appeal Judge Wait’s ruling which dismissed CST’s code violation.
Briefly, CST originally pleaded guilty in Judge Wait’s court for doing work on a property without a building permit. The building department identified a number of items that CST would have to address before CST could receive its permit.
The hearing in question was to determine whether CST had successfully complied with the outstanding issues identified by the building inspector. CST was potentially subject to fines for failure to comply.
When the city failed to appear for the hearing (see original post), Judge Wait dismissed the case.
As Judge Wait dismissed the case “without prejudice” it meant that the city could simply file the complaint again if they wished and seek a new hearing on the same issues.
In fact, the Building Department has done just that. In addition to the issue of no building permit, they have identified four safety violations in their complaint against CST.
What Will the City Gain with This Appeal?
In spite of the fact that the city has refiled the complaint, the appeal of Judge Wait’s decision is for some reason moving forward as well. Judge James Murphy will hear the appeal. If the city is successful, all that will happen is that Judge Murphy will order that Judge Wait rehear the case.
As Judge Wait will be rehearing the case anyway, there appears to be no reason to go through an appeal.
I have to wonder whether Miller Mannix, who the city is paying to appeal this case, realizes that the city’s building department has reissued the complaint. I am at a total loss as to why the city is spending money on the appeal. It appears that this has everything to do with Mayor Kim getting back at Judge Wait and little to do with trying to resolve the issues with CST.
It also remains unclear whether the Mayor has circumvented the procurement requirements in his enlisting Miller Mannix. For a discussion of the issue here is a link.