The New Rochelle City Council made a surprise move this afternoon going into immediate Executive Session with Louis Capelli and representatives of Capelli Enterprises “as a matter of real estate”. What makes the move so unusual is that neither Louis Capelli or Capelli Enterprisesown or control any real estate owned by the City of New Rochelle, raising serious questions as to whether the meeting is legal under the New York State Open Meeting Law.
§105. Conduct of executive sessions.
1. Upon a majority vote of its total membership, taken in an open meeting pursuant to a motion identifying the general area or areas of the subject or subjects to be considered, a public body may conduct an executive session for the below enumerated purposes only, provided, however, that no action by formal vote shall be taken to appropriate public moneys:
a. matters which will imperil the public safety if disclosed;
b. any matter which may disclose the identity of a law enforcement agent or informer;
c. information relating to current or future investigation or prosecution of a criminal offense which would imperil effective law enforcement if disclosed;
d. discussions regarding proposed, pending or current litigation;
e. collective negotiations pursuant to article fourteen of the civil service law;
f. the medical, financial, credit or employment history of a particular person or corporation, or matters leading to the appointment, employment, promotion, demotion, discipline, suspension, dismissal or removal of a particular person or corporation;
g. the preparation, grading or administration of examinations; and
h. the proposed acquisition, sale or lease of real property or the proposed acquisition of securities, or sale or exchange of securities held by such public body, but only when publicity would substantially affect the value thereof.
2. Attendance at an executive session shall be permitted to any member of the public body and any other persons authorized by the public body.
So, is this a matter of public safety? No.
Is this about an undercover cop or informer or related to a criminal offense? No.
Is this about litigation? No.
Is this a privacy issue for some employee or appointee? No.
Is this about a test? No.
Is this about the sale of securities? No.
So the only thing that could possibly apply to Capelli Enterprises is the “acquisition, sale or lease of real property”.
Is the City selling or leasing property to Capelli? No.
Is Capelli buying or leasing property from the City? No.
In other words, this appears to be another illegal secret meeting.
Mayor Noam Bramson warned those who came for the public meeting that the Council may be in Executive Session for “a long while”. City officials indicated that the closed session may run up against tonight’s schedule meeting at 7:30 PM.