Early Sisters Refute PCNR “Dirty Tricks” Article

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.

Marie Early (File photo by M. Turton)

Marie Early (File photo by M. Turton)

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.”

9 thoughts on “Early Sisters Refute PCNR “Dirty Tricks” Article

  1. I have known both Susan and Marie for my entire life. To suggest that they are in anyway responsible for putting this garbage on Cathryn Fadde’s car is laughable. Marie and I may not see eye-to-eye politically on occasion, but she is a good person.

    I did ask Susan on Sunday morning if they had any of my mail, because I had seen a photo of this trash on Facebook.

    I wholeheartedly agree that it is a tenant’s responsibility for handling their mail, and that was done to the best of my control. Having just received a solicitation for Ronald Bowman, who died 26 years ago, in my mailbox… Well, even the best attempts sometime fall short with the postal service.

    Lastly, the frequency that ALL local news outlets splash names across their websites, blogs and hard copies is something that ALL need to be ashamed of.

  2. I have known Sue and Marie for more than 30 years. Their love of Cold Spring and their love of the residents have been well documented over the years. For anyone to suggest that they are capable of such stupidity is laughable. I sincerely hope that nobody takes the malicious article in the PCNR seriously.

    • I have lived here for 15 years. The first person I met was Marie, who welcomed my wife and I to the neighborhood and the village with a smile. Sue I met shortly after that and was greeted with the same welcome. These two sisters are hardworking, compassionate, caring, friendly and kind. They treat everyone with the same smile and greeting, regardless of what your politics are. There is no way that these accusations have any validity or foundation for any possible speculation that either of them could be involved or condone such an act. They both have worked hard to make the village a place I am proud to call home!

  3. Susan and Marie are above reproach as landlords, business owners, neighbors and friends. Mr. Bowman says he feels the idea that Marie and Susan “are in anyway responsible for putting this garbage on Cathryn Fadde’s car is laughable.” Yet when he sees a photo of a mailer he thinks first of the Earlys, his landlords from six months prior and their handling of his mail. And he has the presence of mind to provide that information to the PCNR, or they knew to ask for it.

    A weekend “harassment” incident with time for a photo op and investigative journalism all occurring during the PCNR’s self-imposed blackout of any election matters that would require a response. An article that asks the reader to believe that it is a “dirty trick” to sway the election against Molloy. But without this PCNR article, what/who was to be swayed? Cathryn Fadde’s vote?

    • Mr. Francisco, maybe you misunderstood me (it seems to happen a lot).

      (1) When a piece of household mail from a former address appears on someone’s car, you tend to ask the former landlord if they have any old mail. In fact, despite a forwarding order to the post office, mail continued to be delivered to 156 Main Street after we moved. It was quite common to receive letters and bills with handwritten notes on them saying “Forward,” “Moved,” etc.

      2) After talking to my former landlord, I let it be known to a lot of people that there was no way my former landlords were involved.

      Please lob your conspiracy grenades elsewhere.

      • This is hardly worthy of being labeled a “conspiracy.” But what is striking is the inconsistency in your statements. If you have serious concerns regarding “the frequency that ALL local news outlets splash names,” why would you cooperate with the PCNR article titled “Dirty Tricks?” by providing two names, especially of people who you say you are certain were not involved. Your intent aside, you must have known where your statements to the PCNR would lead. I am sure you want this resolved: can you tell us if the PCNR photo that you saw on Facebook was the same as the one in the PCNR? The one in the PCNR oddly has no photographer credit.

  4. PCNR’s War Against Honest, Conscientious Public Servants: This incident represents a pattern of PCNR’s appalling lack of journalistic integrity and rank partisanship, a new low, trafficking in innuendo and misinformation. Let us not forget the savage, defamatory Cunningham article on county legislator Dini LoBue in her efforts to expose where the tourism dollars and cents were going under the Libby Pataki stewardship, which was then followed by the publication of an equally shameful letter by David Cooke, who concurred with Cunningham’s recommendation that Ms. LoBue be provided a “one-way ticket” out of the county. Needless to say, there was never a retraction or an apology from either of these gentlemen. No matter, the dirty little secrets have been exposed by better reporters.

  5. After reading the comments I have to say a few things. Mike has posted that he does NOT believe that Marie and Susan had anything to do with the missing mail. I hope the police investigate the crime and make an arrest. I don’t think that an article saying that Molloy did this to help his campaign is nuts. Whoever wins tonight must work together for the people of the village and put aside the hatred. Other elected officials should stay away from the elections. Stop feeding the beast.

  6. While well-intentioned, the annual post-election calls for working together and community unity are in vain. The political publishing organization PCNR will make certain that never happens. Fomenting divisions and creating strife is its game. They employ people like Tim Greco, the author of the Early sisters hit piece and many other unethical attack stories on his Cold Spring neighbors, to regularly engage in social and political sabotage of our village.