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By Mike Hudson

Mayor Paul Dyster accused the Reporter of "lying" last week, an accusation also made by his predecessors Vince Anello and Irene Elia.

Back in May, Dyster and his Code Enforcement Director Dennis Virtuoso announced they were going to sue the Reporter for lying. They were already talking to attorneys, they said. They were on YNN news saying it, and they said it on the front page of the Niagara Gazette.

Guess what? Not only didn't they sue the Reporter in the 15 weeks that have passed since they said they were going to, they haven't even asked for a specific retraction of whatever it was the Reporter was supposed to have lied about.

Under New York state's libel law, such a request must be made in order even to begin a lawsuit, and believe me, this newspaper has had plenty of phony nuisance lawsuits filed against it.

In other words, it was Dyster and Virtuoso who were lying when they said they were going to sue. They got their ugly mugs on television, though -- which, judging by their records in office, is about all they care about anyway.

Dyster is a pathological liar. Type "Paul Dyster" plus "arms negotiator" into Google. You'll find 13 results, which fall into three categories -- Dyster campaign literature, articles by journalists who believed what he told them, and the series of articles in this paper that revealed he actually was responsible for fetching coffee and stocking the vending machines during his 12-month internship at the U.S. State Department.

He was no more an arms negotiator than Donald Duck, and he didn't ask for a retraction of that one either. Because he was lying.

When the Reporter called him on the sheer criminal negligence that led to the death of Kevin Johnson, a 44-year-old husband and father of two who was killed after his bicycle fell into one of the many incredibly deep potholes Dyster's responsible for, the mayor didn't bother to call it a lie. He knew as well as anyone that he was responsible for the horrid tragedy.

Dyster has defended his administration's ties with Rico Liberale, who was named as an unindicted co-conspirator in the Local 91 racketeering case here, and Rick Whitney, who is still running a city-owned parking lot after being arrested a few weeks ago on drug charges and for selling stolen passes to the Maid of the Mist and Cave of the Winds attractions here. Dyster saw to it that Willie Santiago, who was convicted several years ago of stealing city property and fencing it, got a promotion and a boost in pay.

Yet in much the same way that he brags about how great the city streets are, when the reality is that a guy recently got killed because of their wretched condition, Dyster likes to boast that his administration has been "scandal-free," when it is rife with criminality.

Irene Elia and Vince Anello both took pay cuts to become mayor of Niagara Falls, back when the position paid $35,000 a year. It pays $70,000 now, and for Paul Dyster, it's the most money he's ever made in his whole life.

Happy birthday to Dyster ally and currently unemployed person Francine Del Monte. She turned 55 on June 18. Recently she filed for a state pension, which will amount to $62,000 a year with full healthcare benefits.

It's kind of ironic: She made everybody in Niagara Falls poor, and now we have to pay her $62,000 a year to do absolutely nothing. We'll have to accept it as a Pyrrhic victory, I guess, because if she'd have had a couple more terms in office, the average wage wouldn't be $18,000 a year but $9,000.

She's been pestering Gov. Andrew Cuomo on an almost daily basis, asking for the do-nothing, high-paying job she thinks she deserves after 10 years in the state Assembly. Her butchering of the last election, however, has top Albany officials wondering about her stability, and it's guaranteed that no such job will ever materialize.

After her loss in last year's Democratic primary, she ran a spoiler campaign on the wacko Working Families Party line that effectively handed the traditionally Democratic Assembly seat to the GOP.

A couple weeks ago, she got into an angry confrontation with Buffalo mayor and former state senator Byron Brown about Cuomo giving her the cold shoulder. Brown was not amused.

The upshot is that she can continue to collect her $62,000 annual pension, even if she gets re-elected to her old seat next year. She's told everybody she's going to run, but if she does, it likely will be without help from the state Democratic Party. And we all know how hard it is for a poor retired woman living on a fixed income to run for office these days.

So if you decide to re-elect her, you'll get the honor of paying her $79,500 salary in addition to her $62,000 pension!

Anyway, I heard that state Sen. George Maziarz and Niagara Falls Redevelopment Executive Vice President Roger Trevino are planning a retirement party for the elderly former bigshot up at Frankie G's on Pierce Avenue sometime in the near future.

I'll keep you posted.

And from all of us at the Niagara Falls Reporter, happy birthday, Francine!

Niagara Falls Reporter www.niagarafallsreporter.com Aug. 30, 2011