Hudson Police Chief Ed Moore confirmed the investigation Monday morning.
The special meeting was held in the Hudson Area Library to discuss the Common Council’s response to Mayor Rick Rector’s veto of their resolution seeking to throw out the preliminary property-value reassessments for the city.
Controversy has engulfed the reassessment process, Hudson’s first in seven years, since letters with preliminary reassessments were sent to property owners March 1. Citizens and Common Council members have questioned whether the reassessments, which were calculated by City Assessor Justin Maxwell and the private company GAR, are accurate.
Read about the reassessment here.
The meeting was replete with raised voices, gavel-banging, interrupting, yelling, and cursing and insults from the 70-plus crowd.
Mid-way through the meeting, DePietro cut off a real estate agent giving public comment and called a 10-minute recess. DePietro and former Common Council member John Friedman got into the confrontation outside the meeting room, and it’s second half was directly witnessed by this reporter. It can be read about here.
The investigation is the result of a complaint filed with Hudson police, Moore said, but he did not reveal the complainant’s identity, as it is HPD policy to not identify crime victims.
Friedman, now a private attorney, said Monday morning he was the complainant, but declined further public comment.
“Probably five or six” witnesses have been called in for interviews, Moore said.
The incident occurred around several other people, including other Common Council members, and the meeting room doors were open at the time, allowing some in the meeting room a line of sight to the confrontation.
The investigation would be thorough, Moore said, but was not an HPD priority due to the level of alleged criminality.
“It’s not a felony, or not even a misdemeanor – so we’re going to prioritize and go about it appropriately,” Moore said.
Most assault-related charges in New York are either felonies or misdemeanors, save the charge of second-degree harassment, a violation.
The maximum sentence for a violation conviction is 15 days in jail, but violations are generally resolved with fines.
The HPD has not filed charges as of this point, Moore said.
“We’ll go about it methodically and see if anything is warranted here,” he said of potential charges.
DePietro declined comment for this article.
Earlier at the chaotic meeting, the Common Council passed a resolution asking Mayor Rector to throw out the reassessments and terminate the city’s contract with GAR due to “negligence.”
The resolution was similar to a resolution passed earlier this month, but included language explicitly asking Rector to throw out the reassessments.
Rector vetoed that earlier resolution and vetoed the second resolution Friday.
The Common Council can override the mayor’s veto with a two-thirds majority but will not be able to hold a potential vote until their next formal meeting May 23.