Mayor Challenger Files Suit In Disputed Herrings Election


By Jude Seymour

The candidate who lost a recent Herrings village mayor's race by one vote has asked a state Supreme Court judge to toss the results and start over.

Jeremy Barlow alleges that there are at least four votes in the March 15 race in question.

  • Chris Tehonica, 24449 Second St., was denied an absentee ballot by Village Clerk Mona Thomas despite requesting one.
  • Lynn Dobransky cast a provisional ballot, deemed to be the 40th vote, and believes it was not counted.
  • Angela Montalvo, the daughter of Barlow's opponent Richard Bierman, cast a vote despite living in Texas for more than a year.
  • Joshua Bierman, the son of the current mayor, cast a vote despite living in Vestal.

Barlow, an attorney by trade, also alleges that Thomas violated election law by releasing the ballots in a disputed race to Bierman, who subsequently delivered them to the Jefferson County Board of Elections. He also contends that the village failed to provide instructions to voters on how to cast a ballot, which lead to at least two ballots not being counted during recanvassing.

Barlow has petitioned the court to stop the village from certifying its election results, setting aside the result and allow the county board to oversee a new election. He has asked for a decision by 9 a.m. April 5.

I've talked previously to Bierman and Shirley Fitzgerald, a trustee candidate whose brother was allegedly denied the ballot. You can read more about this in my previous blog post, where I have video of my interviews with both sides.

I also re-interviewed Bierman today. He told me his daughter did not vote in the election, as alleged, and that his son has lived with him for at least the past three years. Joshua, he said, also voted in the 2009 elections and hasn't resided in Vestal in seven years.

Bierman said he was not aware that he may have been violating election law by taking the ballots from Thomas and delivering them to the county elections board. The mayor denied any wrongdoing, however, saying the ballots were not tampered with in any way.

Bierman said he does not believe Barlow's allegations are sufficient reason to re-do the election.

"I know everything was done by the book," he said today. "We did everything the way we were supposed to."

Saturday, December 3, 2016
, Watertown, NY

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