Village Attorney Hired by Project Veritas
By Cindy Goldstein -
A curious intersection between a right-wing non-profit activist group and their lawsuit against the New York Times is right here in the Village of Mamaroneck.
Project Veritas, a Mamaroneck based not-for-profit organization is known for its heavily edited videos, undercover operations, and secret recordings designed to discredit mainstream media organizations and progressives. See HERE. They were founded in 2010 by Mamaroneck resident James O’Keefe although he was ousted from the organization earlier this year. See HERE.
They brought what many considered to be an impossible-to-win lawsuit against the New York Times to try to stop the newspaper from publishing Project Veritas legal memos they had obtained. The case was assigned to Justice Charles D. Wood, a Republican judge elected in 2009 to the Westchester County Supreme Court. (Justice Wood subsequently changed his political party registration to Democrat in 2019 and is currently seeking the Democratic endorsement for re-election. Some Democrats are balking.) See HERE.
Justice Wood ruled in favor of Project Veritas and ordered the New York Times to not publish or disseminate any of the documents in question. Civil liberties experts and journalists were alarmed by the ruling calling it “an unconstitutional prior restraint.” On appeal to the Appellate Division the order was put on hold until there could be a formal appeal.
From the ACLU Website:
“The freedom of the press, protected by the First Amendment, is critical to a democracy in which the government is accountable to the people. A free media functions as a watchdog that can investigate and report on government wrongdoing. It is also a vibrant marketplace of ideas, a vehicle for ordinary citizens to express themselves and gain exposure to a wide range of information and opinions.”
Project Veritas is represented by several lawyers including Robert Spolzino, Executive Partner of Abrams, Fensterman, LLP. Mr. Spolzino is a Democratic District Leader in the Village of Mamaroneck as well as being the Village Attorney. See HERE