NY Supreme Court Appoints Referee to Oversee Revalidation of Rejected Signatures

New York City–On Monday, August 3, 2009, the New York Supreme Court appointed an independent referee to oversee a line-by-line review of the NYC CAN petition signatures that were declared invalid by the New York City Clerk and Board of Elections. Dennis P. McMahon, a volunteer attorney assisting the petitioners and NYC CAN at this stage of the process, appeared before Supreme Court Justice Edward H. Lehner who issued the ruling in accordance with the petitioners’ request.

A hearing is scheduled for Thursday, August 6 to set a schedule and outline logistics of the signature recount and review process. NYC CAN will assemble staff to review each of 24,664 signatures against an April 2009 Board of Elections database of registered voters. All disputed signatures will be assembled into a Bill of Particulars and presented to the referee for review.

The review is the next step in challenging the City Clerk’s rejection of the NYC CAN petition for a new investigation in New York City and comes after the group filed a Verified Petition/Order to Show Cause with the Supreme Court of the State of New York last week. 52,000 signatures were filed (http://www.nyccan.org/nyccanfilespetition.php) with the City Clerk’s office by NYC CAN on June 24th, 2009.

The NYC CAN petition was rejected by the City Clerk on Friday, July 24th, who certified 26,003 signatures, 3,997 shy of the minimum of 30,000 qualified signatures of electors, the benchmark prescribed in the applicable Home Rule Law.

If the threshold of 30,000 qualified electors is reached as a result of the recount, lawyers for the petitioners and the City will argue the fine points of the Home Rule Law and Election Law in a later proceeding. Both sides are confident that their respective but contrary positions regarding the legality of this unprecedented matter will be upheld. If the court rules in favor of the petitioners and validates the Petition, the City Council is compelled to take up the question. If the Council then votes against putting the referendum
on the ballot, NYC CAN will submit another 15,000 qualified signatures to move the question directly to the voters in November.

In the meantime, NYC CAN is actively lobbying members of the City Council who, despite the City Clerk’s ruling, can work with the petition toward establishing a new investigation into the September 11th attacks. Each member of City Council will be presented with a copy of a documentary film, 9/11 Press for Truth  (http://www.911pressfortruth.com),
which tells the story of the 9/11 family members who were betrayed by the 9/11 Commission in its failure to answer most of the questions posed by the 9/11 families. NYC CAN calls upon its supporters to continue the flood of phone calls City Council has seen over the past two weeks. For Council members’ phone numbers, please go to http://council.nyc.gov/html/members/members.shtml