Posted by: Dawn Powell | January 12, 2016

Wednesday Town Board

Tomorrow night, there will be a discussion on the Cornu property.

There was a judicial decision regarding this case in December.  I have to say that in reading just about everything in this case, and having read every judicial decision, this is the worst I have ever seen.  It came down just before the new Supervisor’s term, and largely ties his hands, even though two other members of the Board and Sam-O favored allowing Pierre Cornu to repair his house.

The judge appointed a referee, who is to be paid regardless, and who can do whatever she has to do to recover her fee.  In essence, that means that whatever value there is to the property is hers.

The judge said that he is giving Mr. Cornu the opportunity to upgrade his house.  He is to submit plans plus the construction amount and bond within 90 days.  But in reality, that is not an option.  The referee will have to be paid, so that has to be added to the cost. And the town will not approve the plans.

When this round of litigation started, the major impediment had been solved.  There was an expert, an architect, who was willing to work with remediation to the plan that had been approved by the town so many years ago that the engineer died more than a decade ago.  The judge was asked if the remediation plans could be substituted for the approved plans, a question that was never answered.  The town objected because the new expert was an architect, not an engineer, because they wanted 2010 code compliance, a demand that could have been disputed had Mr. Cornu not represented himself.  And also, the town objected because that is what they have done for decades now, for reasons that are not entirely understood.

I don’t know if repair is an option, now that the last round of litigation has left the house without necessary maintenance.

I do know that Mr. Cornu was not up to his own defense, and I don’t understand why the judge proceeded the way he did, with what seemed to be remarkable patience, if he was merely going to take the property away from Mr. Cornu.  He could have ordered the house knocked down a long time ago, and saved everyone a lot of money, and left Mr. Cornu with his property at least.

As with Mr. Gibbons, left to his own inept defense, we have driven 2 more old people out of the town.

A sad ending to a sad commentary on people who have more anger than sense, and enough power to destroy a community



  1. Luckily, all may not be lost. Thanks to Sam Oliverio for keeping his word and trying to end the litigation. If things go well, it looks like the Cornu’s will be able to sell the house and move on with their lives. I think we were all shocked at the Grossman decision after he had seemed so cooperative and understanding during the trial. However, something very strange happened just before he gave his decision. There was a big shake up in Putnam Supreme Court and the judge was transferred out of the County to another jurisdiction. We still don’t know what the connection was, if any.

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