Judge With A Grudge?
NEW BALTIMORE – You wouldn’t just accept the word of a used car salesman, would you?
Well, that’s exactly what Harold W. Vadney, write-in candidate for New Baltimore Town Justice, is asking you to do. His posters around town claim he is “Ethical, Professional, Fair and Independent”. His mailings and recent articles in the local press make him seem like he’s all that and more, so we asked around to see what kind of a judge he would really be.
We have been unable to find any endorsement whatsoever, unlike his opponents. In fact, it was hard to even find any supportive voters. Driving around, the only political signs we could find for him were on public property, unlike his opponents whose support is seen peppering private property all over town.
So, rather than relying on his sales pitch, we dug a little into his background and managed to engage a few individuals who actually know him. A different picture emerged. In fact, we discovered a man who seems to have the reputation of discrediting and ridiculing anyone who disagrees with his form of ‘justice’.
A simple web search uncovers a detailed, documented history of fellow business associates accusing him of displaying a violent temper and verbal abuse. Although these are personal opinions, one reads numerous allegations about his poor business practices and writers express shock and are aghast at what they claim is his extreme behavior. In just one example, Scott Horne, a business colleague, contends in a web forum, “Mr. Vadney does indeed have a fine reputation for withholding payment...threatening people who make public the truth about his failure to pay...and assaulting people with profanity.”
“I have absolutely no contact with him”, says John Luckacovic, a long-time hamlet homeowner and neighbor of Mr. Vadney, “and yet he has held a grudge against me ever since I dropped my complaint about the barking dogs kept in the house he shares with his partner. It makes no sense.”
“Things got better with the dogs, so I withdrew the complaint and the judge dismissed the case,” he continues, “but Mr. Vadney refused to be dismissed, and for more than a year, he has trumped up fictional complaints about me and my wife, sent the state troopers to our house numerous times, written hateful letters to the editor about me and even created a website specifically dedicated to discrediting the judge who dismissed the case.
According to Mr. Vadney’s website (http://vadney4justice.home.att.net), the dismissal of the case to which Mr. Luckacovic refers so infuriated Mr. Vadney that he wrote a 50 page (yes, 50 pages!) complaint to the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct in an attempt to throw the Hon. Joseph Farrell off the NB bench. Twice, the Commission rejected his complaint.
Neighbors who know Mr. Vadney say his intense finger wagging is common knowledge to everyone around him. They contend it includes numerous petty, unsubstantiated accusations and a relentless harassment of his neighbors to obey laws of his own invention. By his own admission on his website, he places lengthy letters and calls to news media and various elected and unelected town leaders and politicians including the Greene County Sheriff’s office, the local NYS Trooper barracks, even Governor George Pataki, Senator Hillary Clinton and Senator Charles E. Schumer, to name but a few! Anyone with a few hours to spare (it took us more than three) can navigate around his website to learn more about this candidate’s views.
As soon as his website appears, Mr. Vadney sports an official campaign photo showing him in front of a 13 star Colonial American flag. One wonders if this symbolizes the 18th century justice Mr. Vadney would like to see for New Baltimore: one of witch hunts, stockades and public flogging.
Paid for by Voters4Justice
So there you have it: the allegedly “defamatory” article, found to have been proved true by the legal efforts of none other than the Vadney himself.
By the way, access to most of Vadney's web pages is blocked (whether at his instance or by the host on the basis of the content is not clear), but he was kind enough to post a scanned version of the article, which I downloaded and posted here.