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Utica Councilman Calling Emergency Meeting About Growest Concerns

City of Utica Comptroller, Mike Cerminaro
Photo by Jeanette Lenoir/WIBX

Utica, NY (WIBX) – The controversy surrounding the Growest investigation and the contested JK Hage bill continues to heat up. Concerns surrounding the credentials of an attorney who was recently hired to assist with the case, including the official hiring documents, which were altered–one document omitted the term “temporary”–has one Councilman crying foul and demanding an emergency meeting to address the two concerns he calls troubling.

Utica Councilman (D-1) and Chairman of the Urban Economic and Development Committee, Frank Vascera said it has come to light that Laura Campion’s law credentials are in question. He said the matter is of grave concern due to the sensitivity of the Growest case. He said Campion is not a licensed attorney and is calling for an urgent meeting to get to the bottom of what he calls two questionable items.

He said, “The special meeting is going to be dealing with two items. First of all, how can two documents with seals on them have two different pieces of information, which are very important to the tax payers because of the money differences. Second is, these allegations that this person who has been hired–is not an attorney. These are very very serious issues and it reflects again not only on the Urban Renewal Agency but on the City of Utica.”

Vescera said Corporation Council, Linda Sullivan Fatata explained to him that Campion does not require a law license to carry out the work she was hired to do. Fatata also explained that the issue with the document was a clerical error. Vescera said, “Because of the enormity of the case, because of the millions of dollars involved, I think having a lawyer certainly is a requirement to deal with it.” The emergency meeting to address the two matters is scheduled for Thursday (12/9) immediately following the Urban and Economic Development Meeting at 5:30PM at City Hall .

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