On Thursday August 4, 2011 State Supreme Court Judge Mary H. Smith granted a motion to invalidate Independence Party petitions submitted by Mike Kane as well as Mary Foster and her entire Peekskill City Council slate. The judge concurred that the petitions filed by the Democrats were fraught with numerous inaccuracies, misrepresentations and fraudulently witnessed in several instances.
“Despite the frantic attempts by the Peekskill Democrats and their “spin doctors” to dismiss the lawsuit against them, claiming it amounted to nothing more than “inconsequential technical errors,” as one of them put it, is laughable. The fact is the Democrats got caught cheating…again,” remarked Cathy Pisani upon hearing of the successful outcome of her court challenge.
For weeks throughout the petitioning process the public has been bombarded by the increasing shrill, outrageous claims made by the Democratic candidates and their operatives insisting that County Legislator John Testa was somehow trying to limit the “choice” of voters. Nothing is further from the truth, “as usual with the Peekskill Democrats, you have to look at what they do, not what they say,” stated Testa.
The fact is by successfully challenging them in Court, the fraud they tried to perpetrate has been exposed for what it is, an attempt to limit voters’ choice. For Mike Kane, Chairman of the Peekskill Democratic Party and Darrin Rigger the local Democratic press secretary and professional political operative who has worked for John Hall and Charlie Rangel to claim “politics” is beyond hypocritical!
A judge had to do what the partisan Board of Election Commissioner Reginald Lafayette would not – admit the truth behind the cheating and outrageous actions by the Democratic candidates during the petition process.
Kane’s petitions for County Legislator were rife with improper submissions. Of the 104 submitted signatures only 30 were valid. Kane filed petitions with signatures that did not match those on file with the Board of Elections, a petition for completely different elections was submitted as his own and witness statements on multiple petitions were fraudulent.
Commissioner Lafayette, at the urging of the Democratic candidates, ignored the inaccuracies and pushed the decision over to the judge who determined that enough signatures were invalid to disqualify Kane from the Independence line on the ballot.
The fact remains that three quarters of the required signatures that were submitted were judged improper speaks volumes. “I have garnered a reputation over my almost twenty years of public service, first as a councilman, mayor and now as a county legislator of playing by the rules and following the proper procedures to get elected,” Testa exclaimed. Further stating, “I will not tolerate cheating and will always challenge any opponent who feels they need to cheat during an election. I owe it to the people who have supported and elected me. My thanks to former Councilwoman Cathy Pisani for taking a stand for what is right.”
About John G. Testa
Former District 1 County Legislator, John G. Testa is served five terms at the Westchester County Board of Legislators, spending the last 3 terms as BOL Minority Leader.
John G. Testa is a lifelong resident of Peekskill who first entered elected public service as a member of the Peekskill Common Council in 1998 and then served three terms as Mayor. He previously served on the Conservation and Parks Advisory Board and Zoning Board of Appeals. John became an elected official eager to improve the City in which his family has lived for more than a century and quickly earned a reputation as a strong, independent, nonpartisan voice for fiscal responsibility.
John received a BS degree in Technology from SUNY Oswego, where his academic achievements gained him induction into Epsilon Pi Tau, the International Honorary Fraternity of Technology. He earned his MS degree in Technology from the City College of New York. He began his teaching career in 1980 at Peekskill High School, his alma mater, as an instructor in Technology and Social Studies, retiring in 2013 after 33 years teaching.
John has been a leader in support for the Arts Community in Westchester. He presided over the construction of the Peekskill Art Lofts, the establishment of the Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art, and the complete restoration of the Paramount Center for the Arts, originally a 1930’s movie house and helped bring critical funding to many Westchester programs. Legislator Testa received the “Advancing the Arts in Westchester Award” by ArtsWestchester.
John has a been a leader on environmental issues for two decades and has a long record of initiatives he has supported and spearheaded. His active involvement in developing and promoting environmentally friendly policies began as mayor and continued throughout his time as Westchester County Legislator. His efforts consistently earned John the endorsement of the NY League of Conservation Voters.
John’s most recognizable accomplishment has been his promotion and preservation of local history and historic landmarks, bringing an unprecedented focus on the region’s rich history, and its legacy of historic Victorian architecture. His roots in historical preservation stem from his experience as a Revolutionary War re-enactor and member of The Brigade of the American Revolution for 50 years.
John was instrumental in securing the preservation of the Lincoln Depot, now the Lincoln Depot Museum, where he now serves as President. The museum was recognized in 2015 as one of The Best Museums in Westchester. He also secured the preservation of historic Fort Hill as parkland, a 40-acre parcel that was originally a Revolutionary War encampment site. Under his leadership, the United States Dept. of the Interior declared Peekskill a “Preserve America Community.”
John was able to establish a record number of National Register designations of local structures, including the first Downtown and Neighborhood Historic Districts and supported the preservation of the historic Miller House in North White Plains. In 2017 John was named a “Champion of History” by the Lincoln Society in Peekskill.
John and his wife of 37 years, Nancy, live in Peekskill and have two adult children, John, Jr. (fiancé Courtney Kelly) and Katy (husband Mike Mearon). John and Nancy recently welcomed the arrival of their first grandchild, Lacey Mae, in 2019.