Hudson Police Investigating Violent City Meeting

Hudson police are investigating an altercation between Common Council President Thomas DePietro and another man outside last Wednesday’s chaotic Common Council meeting.

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.

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3 thoughts on “Hudson Police Investigating Violent City Meeting

  1. It was NOT a “violent City meeting.” The meeting was in recess and this incident happened in a hallway outside the meeting room lasted all of a few seconds. And DePietro didn’t “cut off” the real-estate agent, he never called on him; it was the agent who stood and insisted on talking, which resulted in a very proper attempt by DePietro to get him to sit down until he was called on, which the man ignored, prompting an equally proper response from DePietro to call a recess. And calling the meeting “chaotic” without calling attention to the multiple attempts of the Mayor and his backers to disrupt it is a bit disengenous. DePietro should be applauded for opening up the meeting to the public when he didn’t have to and for trying to manage it in a fair and equitable manner—a helluva lot more fair and equitable than the current assessment travesty being foisted on the people of Hudson by their mayor. Congrats to the City Council and the Council President for doing the right thing. –peter meyer

  2. Unfortunately, a competing blog which sometimes links to this blog has a number of horses in the current political race. If at “Blog A” we may only expect positive news about the blogger’s favorites and dropped coverage for those issues which may reflect negatively (even when, previously, several of these were favorite issues), then we must take care not to disseminate Blog A’s selective “news” unwittingly.

    The same goes for The Register-Star which, after Vinceguerra’s exit (and even before), now avoids local stories which threaten any level of real substance. Similarly, Letters to the Editor are carefully monitored for controversies with the potential to exceed the mere click-bait the paper needs to survive.

    Using newspapers and blogs to carry water for favored issues and candidates is nothing new, and neither is the special responsibility we have as readers to take everything we read at any publication with a grain of salt.

    That said, from a marketing angle there’s suddenly a tremendous vacuum to be filled by any news venue willing to scoop the powers that be – by which I mean the established, water-carrying sources of our so-called valley “news.”

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