Watertown man may sue city to keep his home

Man may sue over losing property

WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - A Watertown man who’s losing his home to back taxes may sue the city to try keep it.

Thomas Chiarelly spoke at Monday night’s city council meeting.

He lost his job several years ago and couldn’t pay the $4,000 he owed on back taxes. After a 2-year window, the city took back the property.

Chiarelly wants a payment plan option and that’s not currently available.

Chiarelly told council he thinks the current policy violates his constitutional rights and will go to court if he has to.

“If we can help someone save their house, we’re all for that. Sometimes we don’t have the power to intervene because you have statute and laws you have to abide by. But if we can help, certainly we would do so. So, we’re going to investigate that,” said Mayor Joe Butler.

Chiarelly says if he has to sue, he plans to pay for a lawyer out of a settlement, if there is one.

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