Police get involved in state Assembly primaries

The path leading to the primary election in the 99th Assembly District has gotten ugly, with police being called in to protect a senator?s home. Assemblyman Greg Ball and former Brewster Mayor John Degnan?s

News 12 Staff

Sep 2, 2008, 11:15 PM

Updated 5,741 days ago

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Police get involved in state Assembly primaries
The path leading to the primary election in the 99th Assembly District has gotten ugly, with police being called in to protect a senator?s home.
Assemblyman Greg Ball and former Brewster Mayor John Degnan?s race for state Assembly has been filled with controversy and scandal. Just one week ago, Ball blamed Degnan for a newspaper article falsely stating that Ball violated an order of protection obtained by a former love interest. At the time, Ball also accused Degnan of running a dirty campaign.
Now, Ball is blaming Sen. Vincent Leibell (R) for the newspaper article. He also says Leibell has been funneling money into the Degnan campaign.
Ball?s campaign sent out an automated phone call to voters last week that gave out Leibell?s unlisted home phone number, urging voters to ?give Sen. Liebell a call at home.? Leibell has since asked for police protection outside his home.
A Putnam County Sheriff?s patrol car is now stationed outside Leibell?s Patterson house. ?[The call] certainly represents for my family some security issues,? Liebell says. ?The phone number I had given Mr. Ball was as a legislator.? Liebell also says it wasn? t just the content of the call that bothered him ? it was the fact that his unlisted number appeared on the caller ID screen when the call was made, leading people to think it was coming from him.
?This is clearly a form of telephone stalking. It?s a form of harassment against not only myself, but my entire family,? the senator says.
Ball defends his phone call. ?[Voters] should have the opportunity,? he says. ?The constituents of his district should have the opportunity to reach out to the senator and ask him questions.? Ball also says he doubts the caller ID showed Liebell?s number ? but that if it did, it was a mistake. He says he does not think it?s necessary for Liebell to have police protection outside his home because of the calls.
?[Liebell?s] a very powerful man, but he?s a state senator, not a king,? Ball says.
When contacted, the only response Degnan had was that he wouldn?t comment on what he called ?Greg Ball?s questionable behavior.?
A group called ?The Truth About Ball? has fired back against the assemblyman, claiming in a new ad that, ?Greg Ball?s antics make for a good show, but we don?t need a good show. We need tax relief. Greg Ball, you should be ashamed.?
Liebell has reportedly had his number changed since the calls. He is running unopposed for another term in the state Senate and is not on the primary ballot.
The primary election will take place Sept. 9.
Westchester pol cries foul at alleged smear campaign


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