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Caucus Protests Continue at Sleepy Hollow Meeting

SLEEPY HOLLOW, N.Y. – Protests about the recent Sleepy Hollow Democratic Caucus continued during Tuesday night's Board of Trustees meeting although village officials explained that they have no jurisdiction in the matter.

“If you have an issue with a political party caucus, the proper place to take that is the Board of Elections,” Mayor Ken Wray said. “You should take it up with them, not the village government.”

A group of about 20 residents came to the village board meeting with hopeful village trustee candidate Donald Caetano, although they did not speak during the public comments portion of the meeting. Caetano continued to express his outrage at Saturday's meeting, calling it “a big fraud.”

“You ignored all these people that arrived here to come and vote and you're taking away their rights,” he said. “It was just terrible.”

A group of about 40 residents protested the recent caucus after they were not allowed to sign-in and participate because the caucus had already been closed. Party leaders say the caucus was run in its usual manner and that the three Democratic village trustee candidates chosen were done so legitimately.

Caetano, former Democratic Party leader Frank Occhipinti and others said they were excluded from the caucus because they would have nominated someone other than what the party selection committee wanted.

Village trustee candidate Sean Roach said he was disgusted by comments that have appeared under Village Attorney Janet Gandolfo's name on the Tarrytown-Sleepy Hollow Patch claiming Caetano was estranged from his wife and that his apartment had been condemned.

“I hope that the board would acknowledge that what the village attorney did was wrong,” he said. “I would hope the village attorney would apologize for what she said. To be honest, if this is the kind of thing that's going to happen in the next two months, I don't even want to run.”

Social worker and community activist Ana Lopez told trustees that she felt Caetano was using her community for his own gain.

“I am sad to see that the interests of two individuals cause the manipulation of my community,” she said, saying Caetano and Occhipinti were using the Hispanic community to pretend the current administration was not working and that there was a division in the village.

“I thought that at this point, we were working toward issues,” she said.

Elections will take place on March 20. Incumbent trustee Karin Wompa will run on the Democratic platform with zoning board member Jennifer Lobato-Church and resident Susan MacFarlane. Sleepy Hollow residents Sean Roach, Daniel Scott and David Bedell will run on the Sleepy Hollow Independent platform.

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