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May 27 - JUNE 03, 2014

Bridgewater Lawyer Claims Reiter Not an Owner But Facts, Common Sense Tell a Different Story

By Frank Parlato

May 27, 2014

Mike Mara, the councilman who approved the project ,with Reier

Sometimes, something someone says is so ridiculous that you have to call them on it.
Here is our submittal for the most ridiculous statement of 2014:

Alan Bozer, of the law firm Phillips Lytle, attorney for Bridgewater Estates LLC, appeared before State Supreme Court Justice Mark Montour last week and said, "Any statement or conclusion that Steven Reiter has an interest in Bridgewater Estates is simply a mistake, or people are taking liberties with the truth. The one place where a mistake was made (the Niagara County Industrial Development Agency - NCIDA - application) has been corrected."

Bozer's statement not only strains reasonable credulity, it is easily provable who is taking liberties with the truth.

Bozer's statement that putting Steven L. Reiter's name on the NCIDA application as an owner of Bridgewater Estates was a mistake - is preposterous. Bozer's client, the managing partner of Bridgewater Estates LLC, Anthony Cutiaia, had to make a lengthy, certified statement to the NCIDA that included that Reiter was an owner of Bridgewater Estates.

It is no small thing to make an application to the NCIDA.

The required certified statement was to attest to the factual accuracy of all representations made by Bridgewater Estates in it's application. It was signed by Cutaia under penalty of perjury.

Signing a false statement filed with a government agency is criminal fraud.

Here is what Cutaia attested to as to his knowledge of who the owners were of Bridgewater, as listed on the NCIDA application:

"The grounds of deponent's belief relative to all matters in the said application which are not stated upon his/her own personal knowledge are investigations which deponent has caused to be made concerning the subject matter of this application as well as information acquired by deponent in the course of his/her duties as an officer of and from the books and papers of said corporation."

So the managing member of Bridgewater Estates LLC, doesn’t know who his 19 percent partner is?

He was doing a $12 million project and he doesn’t know whether the Lewiston Town Supervisor is his partner? That he put the town supervisor's name down as his partner in error?
A little background is in order.
While acting as Lewiston town supervisor, Reiter had a hand in rezoning his mother's property that apparently increased its market value from $350,000 to $1.4 million. The latter being the price the land sold for to Bridgewater Estates LLC two weeks after the rezoning was in effect.

Once the Bridgewater Estates project was submitted to the town for approvals, Reiter, as supervisor, evaluated whether the project would create any adverse environmental impacts. He decided it would not and he, as supervisor, signed the Environmental Assessment Form for the Town, stating there were "no adverse environmental impacts."

He waived a traffic study despite the fact that there was a planned driveway to be used by some 200 seniors coming out on a 55-mph speedway against Rt. 104 truck traffic.
He ignored the town's engineering consultant, Ryan K Smith, of Nussbaumer & Clark, Inc., who warned the town in an official letter, "The project will impose 'senior' drivers onto Ridge Road, near an intersection, with heavy truck traffic."

The proposed Bridgewater Estates, to be located on Rt. 104 and Model City Rd. in Lewiston, is supposed to be a 138-unit senior luxury apartment complex - with four-story buildings on country property that has nothing taller than two and half story residential, and with 240 parking spaces.

The apartments are supposed to be rented for $1,500 per month. There is nothing in the contract that prevents it from being a subsidized or low income apartment complex should the owners fail to attract luxury senior citizens.

There is also a lawsuit.

The plaintiff, Lewiston International Business Park, an industrial park located adjacent to the property-- owned by Modern Corp. and its president, Sonia Washuta-- are challenging the legality of the Bridgewater Estates deal.

Much of their challenge has to do with the fact that Reiter is conflicted. Both as the land owner's son and by the fact that, up until the lawsuit commenced, Reiter was listed as a 19 percent owner of the apartment complex in sworn statements to the NCIDA. But he did not disclose to the town.

Something that the Bridgewater partners are now saying was a mistake?

Bridgewater partners Anthony Cutaia and Fred Hanania listed Reiter as a 19 percent owner in the $12.3 million development, according to the NCIDA records.

Marjorie Reiter did own the land. But the application says that Steven Reiter is partners in Bridgewater Estates' development of the land after his mother sold it.

Do the math. Reiter had a $2.4 million stake and Cutaia swore to this in error? What kind of businessman or real estate developer could conceivably do that?

The Bridgewater Estates application to the NCIDA asked Niagara County to give them $1.8 million in tax breaks. Hence the managing partner had to do a certified declaration confirming the accuracy of who his partners were. Now Cutaia, by way of his lawyer, Bozer, claims that listing the supervisor of the town where he was doing business with as his partner was a mistake?

I like their boldness.

Bridgewater's Cutaia and Hanania come to Lewiston and make the supervisor their partner.

Buy his mother's land.

Get fast approvals, zoning changes and avoid obvious environmental issues.

When they get sued, they say, "Oops, it was all a mistake, he's not a partner."

And we are the ones taking liberties with the truth?

There were not 20 partners in this deal.

There were three guys.

Hanania - listed as 51 percent owner.

Cutaia - listed as 30 percent owner.

Steven L. Reiter - listed as 19 percent owner.

Here is more proof: The NCIDA application was filed on April 17, 2013. Just prior to the application being filed a curious thing happened. Long time Chairman of the NCIDA, Henry Sloma, stepped down as Chairman to take a consulting job. He did not immediately say for whom he was going to work. Later it was learned he stepped down from his position as chairman of the NCIDA to work as a consultant on this project. He admitted he assisted Bridgewater on the NCIDA application.

He appeared at their public hearing.

The former chairman of the NCIDA, who stepped down just to consult (and make money) on this deal that went before the board he was chairman of for seven years - he didn’t notice that his long time ally and political friend, Steve Reiter, was listed on the application as a partner -- by mistake?

If Sloma was a consultant wouldn’t he have known who the partners were? Anyone who saw that application that had the name Steven L Reiter on it - you would think - would have noticed it.

A Buffalo News article (May 11 2013) quotes Cutaia as saying a "minority ownership for the Rieters was part of the deal."

Note: He did not say Marjorie Reiter but the Reiters. Plural. Marjorie Reiter is a widow.

In addition, the IDA attorney, Mark J. Gabrielle, reviewed the paperwork and was quoted in the same article as Cutaia.

It seems impossible that all these men could have seen Reiter's name (not his mother's) on the application and not realize there was a mistake.

Maybe it wasn't a mistake and anybody who says Reiter wasn't an owner of Bridgewater Estates is taking liberties with the truth.

Which brings us back to square one:

Steven L. Reiter was supervisor of the town of Lewiston and he was part owner of the project in Lewiston he approved and signed off on and if that is not a conflict requiring the entire project to start from scratch - nothing is.

Steven L. Reiter, the Supervisor
Anthony Cutaia, the Manager


Alan Bozer, the lawyer.
Henry Sloma, the consultant


Mark Montour, the judge


















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