Debunk claim of mishandled mail
By Michael Turton
Village of Cold Spring Deputy Mayor Marie Early and her sister Susan Early have issued a statement critical of recent coverage in the Putnam County News and Recorder that implied they may have been involved with “a dirty trick” prior to Tuesday’s village election. Their March 14 statement to the PCNR was also provided to Philipstown.info.
The article, in part headlined “Last-minute Dirty Tricks in Village Race?” and written by Tim Greco, reported that Cold Spring Trustee Cathryn Fadde had filed a harassment complaint with Cold Spring Police Department after a campaign flier was placed on the windshield of her car during the weekend. The word “Felon!” had been added by hand to the flier, part of materials distributed by Barney Molloy, Fadde’s partner, with whom she shares her High Street home.
Molloy is running for one of two seats being contested on the village board. Lynn Miller and Steve Voloto are also running. The addition of the word “Felon!” likely alludes to Molloy’s conviction a number of years ago for felony DWI.
According to the PCNR article, the flier was addressed to the Fiacco family. Cold Spring Trustee Michael Bowman is married to Donna Fiacco and the couple lived in an apartment above C&E Paints until they moved to Nelsonville in August. The building is owned by the C&E Investment Group, which includes Marie and Susan Early.
While Greco’s article concedes that it is a “mystery as to who placed the defaced mailer on Fadde’s car,” the next sentence implies that Marie Early, among others, may have been involved. “Marie Early … has been actively campaigning for Miller and Voloto, along with Mayor Dave Merandy’s wife, former trustee Stephanie Hawkins, and resident Kathleen Foley.”
The Earlys’ statement questions responsibility for the incident as described in the PCNR. “This incident makes no sense as a ‘dirty trick’ in the current village race,” their statement reads. “If a harassment complaint had not been filed and reported to the PCNR [so quickly], no one in the village would even know about it, and it would have no influence at all on the elections. The Early sisters believe this incident only makes sense as a tool that could possibly assist the Molloy campaign.”
The PCNR article also asserts that the Earlys mishandled the Bowman’s mail. “The mail comes to that location and at the very least she [Early] is responsible for the safekeeping of Michael’s mail, regardless of how it ended up on my windshield,” Fadde is quoted as saying. “At the end of the day she wasn’t handling tenants’ mail in the responsible manner.”
The Earlys strongly disputed that. “The Bowmans … were responsible for ensuring that the Post Office had the correct forwarding address so all mail would be forwarded to their new address,” they said in their statement. “Cathryn Fadde’s statement that a landlord is responsible for the safe delivery of its tenants’ mail is without basis.” A spokesperson for the U.S. Postal Service in Cold Spring confirmed to The Paper that tenants are responsible for ensuring that mail is forwarded after they move, not the landlord.
The Earlys said that they were distressed by the PCNR article which they described as “an attempt to sway the voters in the Village elections… and to discredit the Early sisters, lifelong residents of Cold Spring and keen supporters of the Village.”
Their statement ends: “The Early sisters are disappointed in the publishing standards of the Putnam County News and Reporter. It printed this article online, implying they were responsible for this incident. This article provides only ‘items of association’ to point blame at them. This is not the type of journalism that is conducive to the supportive and friendly environment that should be a hallmark of the Village of Cold Spring.”