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Resident Sues on Behalf of Town, Town to Fund Defendant's Lawyer

YORKTOWN, N.Y. — Attorney fees to defend a lawsuit filed against Yorktown Highway Superintendent Eric DiBartolo will be funded by the town, the town board decided Tuesday.

The Yorktown Town Board voted Tuesday night to permit the town to pay for legal fees pertaining to the lawsuit filed by Yorktown resident William LaPierre. The suit was also filed partially on behalf of the Town of Yorktown.

LaPierre is suing on behalf of himself as a taxpayer in the town of Yorktown. Four members of the board voted to approve the motion while Council member Vishnu Patel voted against it. In two separate lawsuits, DiBartolo is also suing LaPierre and Yorktown resident Fred Gulitz as well as former town supervisor Susan Siegel.

Town Attorney Jeanette Koster said it would be inappropriate for the town attorney to represent DiBartolo in the suit.

According to his lawyer David Wright, LaPierre’s complaint is on behalf of the town to recoup money he claims DiBartolo misappropriated, not to make the town pay more money to defend him.

"We carefully wrote the lawsuit to make sure that DiBartolo's defense expenses would not be paid by the town. Specifically, we are NOT suing the town,” Wright wrote in an email.

LaPierre's suit, filed Feb. 21 in Westchester County Supreme Court, charges DiBartolo with using his position as highway superintendent to misappropriate money from Yorktown.

Wednesday morning, just hours after the board approved the resolution, signs were posted along Route 202 alleging that Wright was a "thief" and is "dishonest" among other things. Wright said 10 signs had been posted throughout town.

In an email, Wright said DiBartolo has a sign unit with the ability to generate signs.

"I didn't see him put them up, but it doesn't take a rocket scientist to conclude that Eric is behind this,” Wright said.

Reached Thursday, DiBartolo said he had no knowledge of the signs.

“I have no idea what you’re even speaking about,” he said, asking The Daily Yorktown if the question regarding the signs was a joke. “This is just wild.”

At a future meeting, the board will have to approve DiBartolo's counsel. At that point the cost of the attorney to the town will be made public.

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