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APA Sued By Pataki Ally

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The Adirondack Park Agency is embroiled in a new political and legal controversy involving one of Governor Pataki's allies. Art Spiegel, a businessman who lives in Plattsburgh, has sued the Agency over its decision to suspend a permit for a controversial mansion in Lake Placid. Spiegel sits on the Olympic Regional Development Authority board and was also appointed by the governor last year to take part in a commission reviewing hospital facilities. Spiegel's suit, filed in Federal court, follows an APA ruling last summer that his partially-built mansion violated several provisions of a state building permit.
In December, the APA commission, appointed by Governor Pataki, sent the matter to the Attorney General's office for enforcement.
The decision followed several months of deliberation and negotiation. In his suit, Spiegel names another close Pataki ally, APA director Dick LeFebvre. He also singles out APA enforcement director Paul Van Cott, an active member of the Democratic Party. Greg Caito is a political consultant from Jay who is part of Art Spiegel's legal team. He's also a former member of the Park Agency board. He told Brian Mann that Spiegel is the victim of a political witch hunt.

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Reported by

Brian Mann
Adirondack Bureau Chief

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