WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. – Former Yorktown Supervisor Michael Grace has sued a resident and a newspaper, calling a Letter to the Editor critical of him libelous.
The letter, in the Jan. 8 issue of the Northern Westchester Examiner, charged that Grace had made “self-enrichment deals behind the scenes that did not benefit the town.” It specifically pointed to a development behind his law offices on Underhill Avenue.
The mixed-use development, which spans four properties and includes a 40,000-square-foot building, involves Grace’s land and was approved by the Yorktown Planning Board while Grace was supervisor.
There is history between Grace and the critical letter-writer, Mohegan Lake’s Melvyn Tanzman, who two years ago unsuccessfully sought the Yorktown Democratic Committee’s endorsement to run against Grace for supervisor.
In an October 2017 op-ed that appeared in Yorktown News, Grace said Tanzman belonged to the “truly ugly fringes” of the local Democratic Party.
In his lawsuit, filed Jan. 23 in State Supreme Court in White Plains, Grace said Tanzman’s letter alleges unethical and perhaps even criminal behavior on the former supervisor’s part.
“The published letter creates an impression that [Grace] was corrupt and depraved both politically and professionally,” the lawsuit states. It seeks unspecified monetary damages, asserting that because of the letter Grace, a lawyer, has lost clients and had his professional reputation harmed.
Grace is rumored to be running again for supervisor this year.
Adam Stone, publisher of the Examiner, referred a request for comment to his legal team, which declined to comment. Tanzman also declined comment.