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Accusations fly about Hounsfield Supervisor’s role in Sackets Harbor elections, man ejected from Town Council meeting

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The public comment period of the Hounsfield Town Council’s meeting Wednesday night turned into a free-for-all, with meeting attendees accusing Supervisor Timothy W. Scee of involving himself improperly in Sackets Harbor’s elections.

The town’s Ethics Board also ended its review of Councilman Vincent J. Battista III, announcing it would not seek any further action against him following a complaint connected to his serving on both the council and the Sackets Harbor Fire Company’s Board of Directors.

During the meeting, village resident Robert J. Johnson was asked to leave following a verbal altercation with another attendee.

Accusations of impropriety against Mr. Scee came following the August withdrawal of Mark A. Pacilio and Cheryl M. Payne from the upcoming village elections during the second attempt at a village Democratic caucus, with Mr. Pacilio citing interference from the town as why he quit.

Mr. Scee was a part of an ad-hoc group of town and village residents that helped to look for more candidates.

Mr. Battista said the group was looking to get Republicans to run against him and applauded Mr. Pacilio for stepping down in light of the group.

Following Mr. Battista’s comments, Mr. Scee defended himself and the group, and said their search was needed due to a shortage of candidates. He added that party affiliations at the town and village level were unimportant, and as a village resident he had a stake in the race’s outcome.

Mr. Scee again did not name other group members.

His explanation was disputed by attendees, including Mr. Pacilio’s wife, Trish B, and village Trustee Peter R. Daly.

Mr. Battista said he would ask multiple agencies to investigate the group and others.

Following a short executive session, Councilman Richard F. Young said no further action would be taken against Mr. Battistsa, as he resigned from the company board on Sept. 1.

Before the discussion of the village election, Dr. Johnson was asked to leave after a confrontation with Stephanie J. Elliott, who asked the council for traffic control for parts of the 18.12 Challenge running event.

Dr. Johnson said he needed to drive on roads blocked off by the race and loudly told Mrs. Elliott that she was “self-important.”

Asked to leave the meeting, Dr. Johnson refused but left minutes later, before a Jefferson County sheriff’s deputy, called by Water Superintendent Jeffrey J. Kenney, could arrive. Mr. Kenney said the deputy told him that Dr. Johnson wanted to file charges against him for touching him.

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