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Mary's Blog Posts
Mary's Latest Village Updates
by Mike Shkut
NEWEST UPDATES ARE LISTED FIRST!
NEW: THE 2019 MARVIN VILLAGE COUNCIL ELECTION
AUG 20, 2019 A Promise to Keeping Advocating & Serving Residents If / When Called Upon
Note from Mary:
Given the nature of the (good) fight in the past 18 months, the prospect of running a full-fledged campaign seemed like a daunting task; particularly because I had already begun receiving threats from development factions, warning me not to run for office. I will remain an advocate for transparent government, proper legislative processes and vehicles that ensure people are heard. My Marvin neighbors can count on me to advocate for them, or represent them. if ever I'm needed.
NEW: WHO CONTINUES TO FUND POLLINO, VANDENBERG LEGAL CAMPAIGN AGAINST MARY SHKUT TODAY?
JUL 11, 2019 Pollino, Vandenberg and Secret Supporters Appeal Judge's Motion Not to Grant the Appeal!
Despite three rulings in favor of Mary's Council appointment, Pollino, Vandenberg and those financing their attorney fees, continue to harass Mary with legal filings and appeals. This bears repeating. Despite the fact that Mary's term in office ends in December, and is not running for office, Pollino & Vandenberg & their secret financiers, continue to appeal the moot legal challenge to Mary's Council seat. Why? Some people theorize this is probably because it inflicts legal costs on Mary and her family, and they hope this will dissuade her from future citizen involvement in the Village. So, in short, they want to push out the most knowledgeable, protective representative Marvin has, in order to protect whatever interests they have.
NEW: HOW THE COUNCIL MAJORITY SHOULD HAVE AVOIDED $75,000 SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT
MAR 18, 2019 Given Judge's Rulings, Epps & Dispenziere Support $75,000 Settlement for Some Legal Fees
IMPORTANT: Remember that, in October of 2018, Mary offered to settle all lawsuits, at zero cost to the Village, and absorb the $30,000 in legal fees (expended protecting her duties in office and fighting open meeting violations) if Pollino, Vandenberg and their financial backers would put aside constant challenges to Mary's Village appointment; This peace offering was rejected by them. (See Nov 02, 2018, below). Instead, Pollino & Vandenberg continued to spend Village funds and continued fighting Mary's appointment to the Council through dubious financial means. (Funds were not dispensed until June, 2019)...
... Since Mary's peace offering was rejected in October... legal costs to protect her seat and hold Council accountable for open meeting violations, continued to accumulate far beyond the $75,000 settlement she received for legal fees. The blame for incurring the cost of the settlement, in addition to the >$100,000 expended in Village legal fees, does not lie with Mary. It lies with Village officials who refused to put aside petty differences in October, and move on with Village business.
NEW: JUDGE SUPPORTS MARY'S APPOINTMENT & ACKNOWLEDGES POTENTIAL OPEN MEETING VIOLATIONS
FEB 04, 2019 Judge Dismisses Pollino, Vandenberg Motion to Appeal Against Mary's Council Seat for 3rd Time
Judge Bragg ruled in favor of the Defendant (Shkut) once again. Because Pollino, Vandenberg et al. did not file their "Motion to Appeal" on time, Judge Bragg ruled that his dismissal of the Plaintiff's case holds.
Judge Finds Enough Evidence to Proceed Against Council Majority for Open Meeting Violations
Judge Bragg denied Pollino/Vandenberg & Dispenziere's motion for Summary Judgment. This means, that in the open meeting violation case, the Judge ruled, there was enough evidence to proceed...
(a) against officials Pollino, Vandenberg & Dispenziere for open meeting violations.
(b) with the injunction protecting Mary Shkut's seat on the Village Council
Judge Granted the Motion to Sanction the Second Village Attorney but not the First...
Judge Bragg (a former colleague of Village Attorney Melanie Cox) denied the Motion to sanction Ms. Cox. However...
(a) He granted a motion to add a sanction against the second Village Attorney
(b) He appointed a Senior Resident Judge to review communication Cox was claiming to be "privileged"
The 2nd Village attorney (by contract)?...
(1) He happens to be Pollino & Vandenberg's private attorney, and was then rewarded with a Village paid contract
(2) He happens to have long-time associations/partnerships with Vandenberg & her father (an attorney in Hickory, NC)
(3) He has provided dubious information about who pays his legal bills; as did Mayor Pollino in his deposition.
DEC 07, 2018 Judge Bragg Issues His Ruling Solidifying Mary's Appointment in Office
Judge Bragg ruled in favor of the Defendant. He noted that his initial ruling to dismiss the case was a pre-trial ruling. Motion 59 (the Motion to Reconsider), filed by the Plaintiff, was an 'invalid' and improper motion. Judge Bragg ruled that his dismissal of the Plaintiff's case holds.
NOV 27, 2018 Judge Bragg, Superior Court, Hears Pollino & Vandenberg Motion to Reconsider
Joe Pollino and Kim Vandenberg requested made their argument. Defendants argued a Motion to Reconsider was an invalid, post-trial motion. Judge Bragg's ruling to dismiss the case was a pre-trial ruling.
NOV 07, 2018 Pollino / Vandenberg Attorneys Request Rescheduling of Hearing
Joe Pollino and Kim Vandenberg requested the hearing, for their 'Motion to Reconsider', be delayed until the last week of November. (Now scheduled for November 27, 2018)
NOV 02, 2018 Pollino & Vandenberg Reject Peace Offer & Ask Mary to Submit Her Resignation
Joe Pollino and Kim Vandenberg reject Mary Shkut's peace proposal. Instead, Pollino & Vandenberg offer to dismiss their quo warranto suit, in exchange for Mary Shkut's resignation from the Council. As a result, Mary Shkut cannot drop her lawsuit which includes an injunction imploring the Council to recognize her appointment. Below is the email from Mary Shkut's attorneys. TC is the name of the attorney representing Pollino & Vandenberg:
We received a response from TC [Pollino & Vandenberg's attorney) today via phone call. His clients have rejected your offer. They have offered to dismiss their quo warranto action in exchange for your resignation from Council.
I am sorry they are not being reasonable. With your permission, Dave and I will continue to press your claims...In our view, short of giving in to their outrageous demands, you have no other choice.
Please let us know how you would like to proceed. Please also let us know if you have any questions.
Weaver, Bennett & Bland, P.A.
OCT 29, 2018 Mary Offers Peace Agreement; That All Parties Drop Pending Lawsuits:
As predicted, Pollino and Vandenberg refused to accept Judge Bragg's ruling. As a result, Mary Shkut could not drop her injunction and lawsuit requiring the Council to accept her appointment. After Dispenziere's courageous attempt to mend discord, Mary Shkut asked her attorneys to reach out to Pollino & Vandenberg's attorneys and ask if they would be willing to cease the fight against the judge's ruling and accept her appointment. In return, Mary Shkut could and would, drop all civil complaints filed against the Village and any Coucil member.