NYRA and state named in Wandering Dago suit

By Stephen Williams
Tuesday, August 27, 2013

The owners of the Wandering Dago food truck are suing state officials in federal court, alleging their truck was improperly barred from doing business this summer at the Empire State Plaza and Saratoga Race Course.

The Schenectady company — at the center of controversy much of this summer over its name, which offends some Italian-Americans — is claiming a violation of its First Amendment rights by high state officials.

Read the full suit below.

The state Office of General Services in May refused the food truck a permit to sell during the summer outside the Empire State Plaza in Albany, and the lawsuit alleges a high state official also pressured the New York Racing Association last month to keep it out of the Saratoga Springs thoroughbred track.

“One or more state officials have acted because they determined the name is offensive, and that’s illegal and unconstitutional,” said George F. Carpinello of Albany, who is representing the Wandering Dago.

The lawsuit, filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court for Northern New York, names state Commissioner of General Services Roann M. Destito and several other OGS officials, as well as NYRA and NYRA officials, including President and CEO Christopher K. Kay.

The lawsuit seeks compensation for an estimated $350,000 in lost business, a court injunction barring the defendants from again banning the Wandering Dago, and “such other relief as the court deems just and proper.”

Read the full story in Wednesday's Daily Gazette or online.

Follow @GazetteSteve on Twitter.

Wandering Dago Complaint

 

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