Ball, Wagner Staffers Clash At Peekskill Event

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Jim Coleman, chief of staff for state Sen. Greg Ball, on Friday in Peekskill called for Democratic candidate Justin Wagner to disclose his law firm's ties to big energy companies. Photo Credit: Art Cusano
Pennsylvania resident Craig Stevens, right, appeared at the Ball event to talk about the effects of hydraulic fracturing in his state. Photo Credit: Art Cusano

PEEKSKILL, N.Y. – What started as a press conference by the staff of District 40 state Sen. Greg Ball (R-Patterson) Friday morning turned into a shouting match with the staff of Democratic opponent Justin Wagner.

Ball's chief of staff, Jim Coleman, called a press conference in front of Wagner's Peekskill office on South Street to call attention to what Ball says is Wagner's conflict of interest concerning the controversial drilling practice of hydraulic fracturing.

Wagner is a lawyer at the firm Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP, which has represented large energy companies such as General Electric, Exxon Mobile and Chesapeake Energy.

"He says that he's against fracking, he says to certain groups, then to other groups he says something different – certainly at his law firm," Coleman said. "They bankroll and help big fracking companies roll out their businesses across the United States and throughout the world."

Coleman brought with him Pennsylvania resident Craig Stevens, who said he had met Ball when the senator had come to Pennsylvania to research hydraulic fracturing and its negative effects.

“Chesapeake Energy is on this board, and Chesapeake Energy went to my 95-year-old grandmother in her nursing home and got her to sign a land lease for $135 on the family home with promises that we would be rich, and we haven’t seen a dime," Stevens said.

Coleman is calling on Wagner to disclose his law firm's client list, as well as clarify the terms of the leave of absence he took from the firm. Coleman also alleged that Wagner took campaign contributions from employees of his firm.

Wagner was not at his office when the event took place, but several of his staff members were on hand and interrupted Coleman's presentation. Some staff members held Wagner signs and denied the charges while pointing out that Assembly member Sandy Galef (D-Ossining) had also come out against hydraulic fracturing. Other staff members held up signs such as one that said, "Greg Ball is Desperate." 

Wagner spokesman Steve Napier said that Wagner did not have any say in what companies his firm did business with, and that his candidate was the only nonincumbent Democrat in the state to be endorsed by the New York League of Conservation Voters.

"Justin Wagner is an associate at that law firm. He has no say over the client list of the firm," Napier said.

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Comments (5)


Harris Rubinroit is very outspoken but not too creative. I've seen this same post at least 6 times--even attached to an article about a school board race outside of Croton!
If Mr. Davis actually knew what the budget process entails (which he should if he has attended so many board meetings) he would be aware that the proposed budget is submitted by the Village Manager to the Village Board. The trustees must then pare it down to an acceptable size for to retain services and keep taxpayers from over paying. Ann Gallelli and the current VB got the proposed budget down over 5% last year.


In the race for the Croton Board of Trustees, it's exciting to see support growing for Kevin Davis' Campaign for the Croton Board. After 6 years of attending Board Meetings, Kevin, a 3rd-Generation Crotonite, is very knowledgeable on the issues and is determined to make a positive contribution in Croton.

During this hot and humid summer, Kevin has been going door-to-door meeting Croton residents and listening to what's on our minds. Kevin understands that rapidly growing taxes must be prevented.

Kevin offers New Ideas and Energy, and an Independent Voice to the Board. Go Kevin Davis Go!


When I went to a conference of school board members just before Ball announced his original plans to run, a bunch of republican members took me aside and told me that he was really bad news for education. Since he was elected he has stood us up at phone conferences that he set up to "talk" about education and he has done all he can to avoid us. I agree that many of his actions are superficial bids for votes.


Ball didn't think about the common people before taking then decision, how much they will be going to be suffered ...

livres d’occasion


Why doesn't the desperate hypocrite Ball ask Romney to disclose his tax returns? Ball is such an opportunist, he does all this "community work" to try to buy votes. I truly can't stand the guy especially since that incident with the North Salem Family, where he too advantage of their request for help for a private matter, and used it in his campaign to gain votes. Very deceptive.

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