New Paltz Town Councilman Dan Torres has filed harassment charges against fellow town board member and former running mate New Paltz Town Deputy Supervisor Jeff Logan following a “direct threat” from Logan after a difference of opinion over a town proposal.
The charges mark the most recent case of controversy between Torres and other town board members, who in the past have publicly chastised him during board meetings for his opposition to siting a sewer treatment plant next to the high school. New Paltz Town Supervisor Susan Zimet has previously stated publicly that she does not share documents with Torres that other board members receive for review.
According to court documents, Torres told state police that prior to a New Paltz Town Board meeting on March 26 at the New Paltz Community Center, Logan asked Torres privately if he would back the proposed site of an alternate village water source on Plains Road — where Logan lives — to be used when the Catskill Aqueduct is shut down for repairs by the New York City Department of Environmental Protection in 2016. Torres told Logan that he had not yet made a decision on the issue which has created concern among homeowners as far back as May of 2014.
According to an article in the New Paltz Times, in the exchange, which Torres recorded, Logan can be heard repeatedly uttering the same expletive, with other voices in the background. Then, in a low voice, he says, “You little [expletive] puke, I could end you so [expletive] fast,” which is consistent with the wording used in the filed complaint. According to the complaint, Logan’s actions “did alarm the complainant putting him in fear of his safety.” In the Times article, Logan said that the context of the conversation is made clear in the complaint — a political disagreement.
The complaint was given to state police from Highland on March 28 after New Paltz town police thought the case to be a possible conflict of interest because of the town board’s joint function as the town police commission after the dissolution of the separate police commission. Neither of the town’s judges would accept the case for similar conflict of interest reasoning, resulting in a request to government administrators in Albany to find a justice who would. Marlborough town court Judge Michael Kraiza took the complaint and issued the criminal summons to Logan, charging him with second-degree harassment — a violation with penalties that range up to as much as 15 days in jail. The plaintiff in the case will be the State of New York since Logan was acting in capacity as a town official at the time of the incident.
The case arraignment was scheduled for Tuesday, April 21. At the time of print, a transcript or audio-log of the court hearing was unavailable for release without a registered legal transcriber.