Watertown, NY, Sep 16, 2009 — This morning, we have a special report on how two North Country retailers, Hacketts and Wise Buys, came together in a shifting delta of deals and dreams. And debt, because this is a story of a bold idea for a homegrown venture gone sour. Republican Dede Scozzafava's run for Congress helped turned the spotlight on the business dealings of her brother, Tom, and her involvement in them. But the fortunes of Wise Buys and Hacketts had been in the headlines for years. They were joined two years ago in a new company, headed by Tom Scozzafava. Seaway Valley Capital Corporation has now absorbed other local businesses as well, including Sackets Harbor Brewery and Alteri's bakery in Watertown. Dede Scozzafava plays no active role in the company, but she is one of its most valued lenders. The company is now buried under $37 million in debt, double its assets. A look at the company's public filings shows a thicket of complex debt instruments, used to raise capital and pay off other loans. Stockholders have lost millions of dollars. As with all struggling companies, it wasn't supposed to turn out this way. In this special report, David Sommerstein untangles the complicated story of Seaway Valley, Hacketts, and Dede and Tom Scozzafava.
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