BY VICTOR G. MIMONI
Wednesday, January 14, 2009 7:05 PM EST
With the State Senate completing its second week of work and the seat for northeast Queens’ 11th District still empty, the saga of the undecided race between incumbent Frank Padavan and City Councilmember James Gennaro finds the parties back in court.
After all the machine votes and paper ballots approved by Board of Elections (BOE) clerks were counted, Padavan was leading by 580, with 252 disputed paper ballots unopened – and this the only undecided election in the state.
Next, Gennaro’s representatives went to State Supreme Court, and Judge Kevin Kerrigan declared that roughly 1,750 paper ballots declared invalid by the Queens BOE should be examined again.
Immediately, Republicans went to the Appellate Division; a four-judge panel said the central BOE hadn’t made a “final determination” on the invalid ballots, so the courts couldn’t rule. The city BOE commissioners voted 7-3 to agree with the Queens clerks.
This brought the matter back to Kerrigan’s court on Tuesday January 6, where Republicans asked him to declare the counting over and allow the BOE to certify Padavan the winner.
Kerrigan gave the Democrats until Wednesday, January 14, to respond to the nearly 50 pages of arguments and exhibits filed by Padavan’s side.
After several hours of legal arguments, Kerrigan set another hearing for Friday, January 16.