UNION (WBNG) – A motion has been filed against members of the Town of Union Board by a lawyer on behalf of Town of Union Supervisor Rose Sotak regarding a 2017 harassment investigation.
The summons was filed Thursday in Broome County Supreme Court.
The complaint claims “outrageous and intentional conduct” on the part of Town Councilmen Frank Bertoni, Robert Mack, Thomas Augustoni and others.
The claims stem from an investigation into alleged harassment in early 2017, which resulted in an indictment against Supervisor Sotak that was later dismissed in June 2017.
Supervisor Sotak claims the infliction of emotional distress by the defendants, among other claims.
The motion is based on several parts of the harassment investigation, including the defendants advising town employees to not meet with the supervisor, which she claims subjected her to embarrassment and prevented her from performing her duties.
It is also alleged the harassment investigation was commissioned without legal authority and that the defendants attempted to extort the supervisor into leaving her role through comments to the media and by threatening to release an “executive summary” of the investigation which would jeopardize the supervisor's real estate career.
Sotak also claims the executive summary was leaked to the media before it had been accepted by the town board.
The notice also claims substantial legal fees were racked up trying to force the release of details regarding complaints from town employees as part of the harassment investigation.
Sotak is seeking compensation for legal fees required to find out those details, as well as defend herself against the indictment, totaling about $30,000, according to court papers.
The supervisor is also seeking a not yet determined amount for emotional distress, as well as punitive damages and additional attorney's fees.
12 News reached out to Town Councilman Frank Bertoni, who said he had not yet seen the summons, but also said the town board did nothing wrong, followed the letter of the law, and did what they were supposed to do whenever anyone comes forward with a harassment complaint.
We have reached out to Councilmen Thomas Augustoni and Robert Mack but have not heard back yet.