Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

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October 12, 2012

Second trial averted by McFall plea deal


Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — In addition, the city is requiring McFall to sign a “confession of judgment,” which would empower it to pursue back-tax payments from McFall after the threat of jail has passed. The city could get civil court enforcement of the judgment by wage garnishing or other similar means, Wilson said.

McFall, who has asserted publicly that the city’s prosecution of him is vindictive, declined to say after court Thursday whether he’s satisfied with the terms of the settlement. His commenting probably is not prudent, at least until “the ink is dry” on the deal, Wilson wryly suggested. The settlement is tentative while the sides hash out exactly how much tax liability McFall has.

Unpaid tax and utility charges on 316 Willow date back to 2008, according to the city treasurer’s office, but McFall sold the property this past June and is not responsible for any charges generated after that, Wilson said.

The violation that brought McFall to court this past January, the pile of construction debris, remains in place today. At the city’s insistence, McFall had it tested for asbestos content and obtained a positive result, which meant he’d have to hire a specialty contractor to remove and dispose of the debris. He testified in court earlier this year that he obtained a contractor’s quote of about $53,000, and said that was money he did not have.

At the time, Wilson pitched a case settlement that would have McFall turn the property over to the city in exchange for it ending prosecution, and Mayor Michael Tucker tentatively approved the deal, but after details were leaked to the media, Tucker nixed it. Tucker said he had a change of heart after complaints about the city taking on an asbestos cleanup while also letting McFall “skate” on unpaid taxes. 

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