The law firm representing the city has filed a motion asking a federal court judge to prohibit Amsterdam attorney Elmer Robert Keach III from making public any more depositions or discovery material in Gary Margiotta’s wrongful termination suit.
Margiotta, the former city clerk, was suddenly fired Dec. 29, 2006, and escorted from City Hall by a police officer. Councilman-at-large James Handy has admitted reaching a consensus on the telephone with his three council allies, but outside of his deposition, released last month by Keach, he has never provided an explanation for the firing.
The motion, filed in U.S. District Court in Syracuse by attorney Scott P. Quesnel of the Albany firm of Girvin & Ferlazzo, seeks a protective order from Judge George J. Lowe. The motion calls Lowe’s attention to Keach’s release of Handy’s deposition and to Keach’s declaration that he plans to make public all depositions and discovery material.
Quesnel states in the motion that the order is needed “to ensure that the discovery process is not abused and defendants receive a full and fair opportunity to litigate this matter without the unnecessary prejudice that will flow from the media’s receipt of all documents produced or created during discovery.”
Quesnel did not immediately return a telephone call, but Keach said the motion is an attempt to protect city officials from “embarrassment and shame and has nothing to do with protecting the process.” Keach said he will respond to the motion and will ask for a hearing.
Handy stated in his deposition that he voted to end Margiotta’s 16-year career with the city because of acts of insubordination. He conceded the incidents were never documented and placed in Margiotta’s personnel file.
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