Sno Kone Joe case to resume June 3
GLOVERSVILLE – The decision on whether Sno Kone Joe will be allowed to continue to sell tasty treats within the city won’t come for at least another 10 days after Police Chief Donald VanDeusen testified Thursday.
Sno Kone Joe owner Amanda Scott’s attorney used the hearing Thursday to dispute reports made by police that were the basis for denying the permit.
The fifth day of testimony was heard by state Supreme Court Justice Joseph Sise in the lawsuit against the city.
The lawsuit was filed by Scott after she was denied a permit by the city. The denial came after Scott and Joshua Malatino were charged with stalking and harassment of Mr. Ding-A-Ling driver Phillip Hollister.
Sno Kone Joe’s permit was up for renewal, but Police Chief VanDeusen recommended Mayor Dayton King not reissue the permit. King told the city clerk not to renew the permit, which resulted in the court case.
In court documents filed in the case, the city Police Department described a history of incidents involving the pair of Sno Kone Joe operators dating back to 2009. The 10 incidents involved either Malatino or Scott, who both operate the trucks.
Most of the incidents involved Malatino and not Scott.
The attorney representing the two, Bill Lorman, had VanDeusen take the stand Monday and questioned him whether Scott was actually involved in the majority of complaints filed with the department.
VanDeusen said in court his recommendation to deny the vendor license was based on his concerns that either of the drivers or a customer could potentially get hurt. He and City Attorney Michael Albanese continuously said he was concerned for the “health, safety and general welfare” of the residents of Gloversville.
VanDeusen said if the conduct were to continue, it could have turned violent. With the vendor selling ice cream to children, the potential of a child being affected would be greater, he said.
Lorman stated in court documents the city’s decision to deny Scott a vending permit is “arbitrary and capricious.”
Lorman has been using his witnesses to show the reports on Malatino and Scott are less than accurate with a number of discrepancies between what the reports say and what Hollister said in his complaint.
Albanese, in return, questioned whether Hollister’s complaint was the primary source of the department’s decision to recommend denial of Scott’s vending permit.
VanDeusen said he reminded the operators during three meetings that if they continued with their conduct, their permit would be taken away.
He said he used all of the reports as a basis for his decision.
“I wouldn’t say any individual incident carries more weight than another,” VanDeusen said.
The hearing was adjourned Thursday and testimony is scheduled to resume June 3.
The police chief will continue to testify, and Albanese is expected to call Mr. Pop Pop driver RJ Insognia to the stand.
Levi Pascher can be reached by email at email@example.com.