Mouth That Roars

Bill Liblick has made a name for himself of National TV Talk Shows where he spouted his outspoken views from the front row. Now he offers you his opinion every week in the "MOUTH THAT ROARS" Column in the Sullivan County Post.

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February 4th, 2016

Aftermath of Hasidic Lawsuit

One of the most efficient and respectable offices in Sullivan County has been the Board of Elections that is why it is so disturbing to learn that as part of a lawsuit settlement involving members of a Hasidic community there will be an independent Federal monitor scrutinizing the Board of Elections for the next five years.

It is a very sad day for Sullivan County that as a fallout Democratic Board of Elections Commissioner Ann Prusinski is resigning from her position. Former Republican Board of Elections Commissioner Rodney Gaebel has since passed away.

Everyone who knows Ann respects her honesty, integrity, and the great job she did at the Board of Elections. I want to personally thank you Ann for your years of honorable service at the Board of Elections and you can keep you head up high.

Last week Sullivan County reached a settlement between ten members of the Hassidic community who filed a federal lawsuit alleging discrimination when the Board of Elections said they could not vote.

Besides the Federal Board of Elections monitor, the County will be forced to pay $557,500 to settle the lawsuit. It requires the county to pay $550,000 in legal fees and $2,500 to each resident who was part of the suit.

Last March, Newsweek did an article detailing this lawsuit suit and it can be viewed at

Sadly – Sullivan County was forced to enter into the settlement agreement not because of any wrongdoing, but to prevent potential legal fees that could have cost taxpayers millions.

This lawsuit is only part of the long battle between the Hassidic community and the residents of Bloomingburg. This lawsuit settlement has nothing to do with the ongoing FBI probe or other lawsuits involving alleged voter fraud.

Here is the Wall Street Journal report on the settlement

In the meantime, two known public figures have expressed interest to be appointed the new Democratic Board of Elections Commissioner.

Former Sullivan County Legislature Chairman and former Department of Health and Family Services Commissioner Chris Cunningham and former Sullivan County Legislator Cora Edwards have expressed interest.

Rumors were swirling for months that former Legislator Kathleen LaBuda was interested in the position, but with her husband seeking reelection for County Court Judge such an appointment would be remote.
In an email to Sullivan County Democratic Committee members, Democratic County Chairman Donna Schick sent out criteria for the position without informing Executive Committee Members in advance.
Members of the Sullivan County Democratic Committee through the weighed voting system will decide in early March who the new Commissioner will be.

Other candidates are likely to come forward, but in the meantime Cunningham has been actively calling Democratic Committee members over the last two weeks telling them that he was interested in the position.

Edwards after meeting privately with Ann Prusinski decided to express interest in the job.

In a letter to Democratic Committee members Cora Edwards wrote:

“As you may be aware, the current Democratic Commissioner for the Sullivan County Board of Elections, Ann Prusinski, will be submitting a formal letter of resignation.

After due diligence and research, I am putting my name forward for the position of the Democratic Commissioner for the Sullivan County Board of Elections.

I feel I have the best professional qualifications for this position, and I’m writing this letter to ask for your support and vote.

There is no doubt that the task ahead will be formidable and challenging. This position can no longer be considered a “patronage job.”

Given the level of technological knowledge and oversight required, a high degree of professionalism is needed.

There is a full election schedule in 2016, and a tremendous amount of work in preparation before, during, and after each election:

March 2016:
Village Elections for Villages of Bloomingburg, Liberty. Monticello, and Wurtsboro.

April 2016:
Presidential Primary

May 2016:
Coordination of Voting Machines for School Board Elections.

June 2016:
Federal Primaries (seat being vacated by House of Representatives Chris Gibson)

September 2016:
State and Local Primaries

October 2016:
Processing Absentee Ballots – upwards of 3500 in a Presidential election year.

November 2016:
Presidential General Election.

“This election cycle will require a Democratic Commissioner who is willing to work long hours with the existing team, and who has proven qualities of trustworthiness, integrity, vigilance and professionalism.”

“Over the course of my professional career, I have proven to have the skills and qualities to make an excellent Democratic Commissioner of the Sullivan County Board of Elections. My tenure as Sullivan County Legislator has informed me of the scope and depth of such a position, as well as my advocacy for participatory democracy throughout my life. My position as adjunct lecturer at NYU for Government Grant Writing Courses and Grant Writer for Sullivan Renaissance has also given me experience of how governments work on the municipal, county, state and federal levels.”

Edwards concluded, “If I am elected by the Sullivan County Democratic Committee for this position, I will tirelessly serve the Sullivan County electorate and the Sullivan County Democratic Committee. I will spearhead an initiative to raise the percentage of voters at elections in Sullivan County which currently stands at a dismal 37% of the voting population.”

This situation is truly unfortunate – Good Luck to all on your future endeavors.

Bill Liblick has made a name for himself on National TV Talk Shows where he spouted his outspoken views from the front row. Now he offers you his opinion every week in the “MOUTH THAT ROARS” Column in THE SULLIVAN COUNTY POST.

1 comment to Aftermath of Hasidic Lawsuit

  • Lowell Fein

    Bill, love reading your straightforward, well thought out and insightful reads. Keep on keeping the good citizens well informed. Best regards, Lowell