Judge throws out Gaetani's civil suit, allowing Taconic High School construction to continue
PITTSFIELD — Over Craig Gaetani's objection, the new Taconic High School project will move forward after a judge threw out his civil suit Thursday.
Gaetani, 68, filed the suit hoping to have construction on the new school halted until the matter could be put to a citywide vote.
Gaetani claimed a breach of contract and "lack of fiduciary responsibility," in seeking to halt the project.
The city, in response, filed a motion to have the case dismissed, which was argued before Judge Daniel Ford on Wednesday.
In his decision, Ford said, "[Gaetani] fails to allege what contract was breached or why [Pittsfield] owed him a fiduciary duty."
"[Gaetani] conceded that no fiduciary duty was owed to him and the had no contract with [Pittsfield], other than as a taxpayer," part of the decision reads.
"The complaint is deficient as a matter of law," Ford said.
During the hearing, Gaetani said the contract to which he referred to in his claim was an implied one between the residents of Pittsfield and its elected officials to, "do what is right."
Gaetani also suggested putting the matter to a vote on the upcoming September 8 state primary election ballot.
The opportunity to do that, however, passed last year, as Gaetani had 21 days after the City Council approved the project to petition it, which would have required the signatures of 15 percent of registered voters, according to the city charter.
The dismissal of the suit does not end Gaetani's legal matters.
The former Pittsfield mayoral candidate faces charges in two separate criminal matters, accused of threatening to shoot a municipal employee and breaking into a motor vehicle.
He has a court date of Dec. 5 in the former case and he's scheduled to be arraigned on the latter charge on Aug. 16.
Contact Bob Dunn at 413-496-6249.
TALK TO US
If you'd like to leave a comment (or a tip or a question) about this story with the editors, please email us. We also welcome letters to the editor for publication; you can do that by filling out our letters form and submitting it to the newsroom.