Michael Giordano is not ready to concede his candidacy for the receiver of taxes position in Harrison, even with the New York state Supreme Court upholding a decision by the Westchester County Board of Elections to remove him from a potential Republican Party primary ballot.
According to Giordano, who currently works in the Harrison tax receiver’s office, he will file another appeal, this time to the 2nd Department of the New York Supreme Court Appellate Division.
“Frankly, this has left a very bad taste in my mouth after working in Harrison for 22 years,” Giordano told the Review. “But, as much as I don’t like doing this, I have to keep fighting.”
On Aug. 7, the state Supreme Court rejected Giordano’s appeal, validating the ruling of the county Board of Elections, BOE.
Giordano said that, despite being removed from the primary ballot after more than half of the objections filed with the BOE by a Harrison resident were upheld, he will contend to the appellate court that the signatures he collected did not correctly list the proper municipality; one of the objections challenging his candidacy.
“It doesn’t make any sense to me how the signatures are invalid,” Giordano said. “I feel pretty confident that [the appellate court] will overturn the [BOE] decision.”
Based on the objections raised, the BOE disqualified 200 of the 377 petition signatures Giordano obtained, leaving him short of the required 285 signatures needed to trigger a primary against Rosa Mastrogiacomo-Luongo, the Republican Party-backed candidate.
Joe Angilletta, Mastrogiacomo-Luongo’s campaign manager and uncle, blasted Giordano’s decision to file another appeal, calling it a “shame” and an “embarrassment.” “This guy is misleading people about every part of his candidacy,” he said. “He’s free do what he wants but it’s clear that he doesn’t belong in this race on many levels.”
Last month, Giordano’s candidacy was publicly called in question after the Review learned that he owns a home in the village of Brewster in Putnam County, while also owning a home at 14 Woodside Ave. in West Harrison.
Although Giordano has indicated on tax forms that his primary residence is his Blossom Lane property in Brewster, he claims to spend most of his time in West Harrison.
Under his Brewster address, Giordano has been receiving a School Tax Relief Exemption, known as the STAR exemption, since 2001.
According to the New York state Department of Taxation and Finance, multiple-property owners in the state must collect a STAR exemption only on the property they consider their primary residence, defined as the location where they spend the majority of their time.
However, according to Giordano, the deed of the property is listed under his wife’s name.
Now, with Giordano likely out of the running, three candidates remain in the race for receiver of taxes. Mastrogiacomo-Luongo will to oppose Maria Mioli Pennella, a registered Republican running on the Democratic line, and Helen Pesce, who has launched a run for the seat as an independent candidate.
The position of receiver of taxes is elected to a four-year term and pays an annual salary of $101,050.