Lisa Vitello to be named City Clerk

… As Former City Clerk may possess evidence of Hamister – Dyster fraud

Mayor Paul Dyster, always eager to take care of his friends and supporters, will start the new year off taking care of his good friend Lisa Vitello who, a source says, will become the next city clerk.

Vitello will replace Carol Antonucci, who sources say does not want to retire.

Antonucci, who has 48 years of service with the clerk’s office, makes $30,000 per year in her technically ‘part time’ capacity.

But Antonucci works full time nonetheless and was said to be saddened that Dyster sought to remove her from her position.

By City Charter, Dyster needed the support of the city council to remove a city clerk and the council went along. Council member Charley Walker is said to have reluctantly agreed only after he wangled pay raises for two political allies of his – one in engineering and the other in the city clerk’s office.

Both employees are technically in violation of their jobs since one flunked her civil service test and is holding her position provisionally and the other is without a drivers license – an actual requirement for the job she has.

But in Dyster’s city hall this means nothing.

Trading salary boosts with Walker’s friends in exchange for ousting a longtime and faithful public servant in order to appoint a friend of Dyster’s at a nice fat increase in salary for the position has been the hallmark of both of these men’s idea of public service.

Dyster will raise the clerk’s salary for Vitello to $48,000.

It is unknown exactly what credentials Vitello has that qualified her for the position. She has been a staunch Dyster supporter.

She is also the sister of City Court Judge Diane Vitello who was Dyster’s first appointment when the mayor first took office in 2008.

Dyster set the stage for his audacious mendacity when, after campaigning on the “not hiring friends and family” platform, he chose Diane Vitello for city court judge among a large list of hopeful judicial candidates.

Vitello was married to Craig Touma, Dyster’s campaign manager.

Despite her clearly political appointment, Judge Vitello went on to win election and is today widely seen as a worthy and erudite judge. Of course she had the benefit of access to the immense talents and legal skills of her mentor and colleague on the bench, Angelo Morinello, who retired last year and successfully ran for state assembly beating the incumbent John Ceretto.

Judge Vitello has shown compassion on the bench for the grinding poverty of the poor who come before her, while respecting the rights of their alleged victims and remarkably has demonstrated more than usual humility on the bench.

Which brings us to her sister.

Lisa Vitello has shown she is one of the more articulate thinkers participating in the public discourse of the city. She also wants a better job.

And we understand Dyster wants his friends in appointed positions.

Yet there seems a bit of underhanded irony in this.

Dyster moved to oust Antonucci, not for incompetence, but to bring in a supporter.

Perhaps Dyster is still resentful that Antonucci did not willingly participate in Dyster’s fraudulent scheme to help developer Mark Hamister get fraudulent funding.

Dyster asked Antonucci to use her clerk’s seal in falsifying a contract with Hamister, making it appear to be on file with the city when it was not.

That the Hamister hotel scam will soon be or is already under investigation may be more than a matter of conjecture. More on that later in coming editions.

That Antonucci will be asked by Federal and State investigators why the Mayor asked her to falsify a document is just as likely whether Dyster fires her of not.

She was ordered to sign off on a false document. She is not culpable – although Dyster may blame her for not keeping it secret.

But Dyster was asking her to break the law.

In order that Hamister and Dyster could commit what looks like blatant bank and business fraud by pretending Hamister had an approved development deal on file with the city, when he did not, they needed to show the city clerk’s seal on a bogus document.

In the days when US Attorney William Hochul protected the Dyster administration, probably nobody worried about small felonies.

But times have changed. A new US Attorney will be appointed soon.

Indeed Hamister, Dyster, Cuomo, Sam Hoyt and others knew full well that the Hamister deal was a fraud on the people and there was a conspiracy to double the price of the hotel to get more taxpayer subsidies from taxpayers.

Whether US Attorney Preet Bharara or NY Attorney General Eric Schneiderman or both are looking into this likely fraud as part of their overall investigation into corruption inside the Cuomo administration is something that time will tell.

But one day, as Dyster was scrambling to get his friend Hamister a free hotel, as per orders of Gov. Andrew Cuomo, he asked an honest city clerk to falsely attest that a contract was on file with the city – when all they gave her was a blank signature page which they took away with them.

Antonucci knows this.

That the Niagara Falls Reporter found out about it – and Dyster may have blamed Antonucci – is not her fault.  It was not she who told us.

One day perhaps soon, someone will be asking Antonucci about the fateful day – it may be FBI Special Agent Brian Burns – who has his eye on Niagara Falls corruption – about the day she was ordered to put her seal to a crooked up document and she protested.

And Dyster used the document nevertheless.

And now they will oust Antonucci and maybe the little Dyster chickens will all come to roost.


City Clerk Carol Antonucci has been asked to leave by Mayor Paul Dyster. She may have a hand in asking Dyster to leave too, as readers may soon see.

City Clerk Carol Antonucci has been asked to leave by Mayor Paul Dyster. She may have a hand in asking Dyster to leave too, as readers may soon see.

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