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Kavadas appeals signatures ruling

TimesLedger Newspapers

Constantine Kavadas, who was kicked off the ballot in his bid to succeed City Councilman John Liu (D-Flushing) last week, is once again headed to court to appeal the decision.

Kavadas filed a notice of appeal last Thursday in an attempt to vacate the decision of Queens Civil Court Judge Patricia Satterfield, who ruled the Queens College graduate’s petitions were “permeated with fraud” and that he “lacked the necessary signatures” to be placed on the ballot.

Kavadas, who as already spent $10,000 on election attorneys fighting the lawsuit brought by fellow candidate Isaac Sasson, according to state Board of Elections records, has swapped attorneys for the appellate fight — retaining the service of Westchester-based Anthony Mangone.

Kavadas said he has no plans of giving up the fight.

“At this point there’s not going to be a District 20 primary on September 15,” he said. “I’ll have my attorneys impound the voting machines for the election if I have to. I deserve to be on the ballot, this is completely unfair.”

Kavadas also accused Sasson of acting with racial motivations. With Kavadas currently off the ballot, Sasson is the only non-Asian candidate running in the race. Kavadas said he believes Sasson targeted him in order to achieve this in hopes of winning the majority of white-voters in the district — a charge the Sasson campaign staunchly denies.

“I’m going to call him a racist because that’s what I think that he is,” Kavadas said. “He’s clearly trying to make sure he’s the only Caucasian candidate on the ballot.”

Reversing Satterfield’s ruling could be an uphill climb, however. Satterfield ruled that sufficient evidence had been presented to show that both he and his campaign staffers had perpetrated fraud by allowing District 20 residents to sign for people other than themselves.

“Even if that were not the case the petition would have to be invalidated for the simple reason that respondent Kavadas did not reach the threshold [of signatures] for inclusion on the primary ballot,” Satterfield said in her ruling.

The appeal was expected to be heard this week.

Elsewhere in the District 20 Council race, Democrat John Choe was awarded $101,966 in public funds from the city Campaign Finance Board after not qualifying for matching funds earlier this month.

“My campaign is driven by a grassroots movement reliant upon small donations from neighborhood residents who come from all walks of life,” Choe said in a statement. “I am humbled and truly grateful to all of my supporters for contributing their time, energy and hard-earned dollars to my campaign.”

The Democratic primary is scheduled for Sept. 15.

Reach reporter Stephen Stirling by e-mail at sstirling@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 138.

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