July 19, 2007

Parenti Suit Settled

As you may recall, Niagara County Democratic Committee Chairman Dan Rivera was fired from his job as an insurance investigator with Liberty Mutual in the Fall of 2006. At the time, there were allegations that the reason for his termination was his misuse of company resources to dig up dirt on State Assembly candidate Gary Parenti.

Rivera vehemently denied these allegations, stating that the separation from his employer was a "difference of opinion over certain policies", and that the allegations were "nothing more than GOP trash. They will stop at nothing to try to derail me.”

Parenti eventually sued Liberty Mutual for the alleged workplace indiscretions of Rivera.

This evening Niagara Times has learned from a highly placed source that Liberty Mutual has settled the case out of court, paying Parenti the tidy sum of $20,000.

Now we know which policies Rivera and Liberty Mutual had this "difference of opinion" over.

14 comments:

Mr. Pink said...

Sail Away, if that is true, that you have broken a major story that, not suprisingly, the major media outlets missed. I can't believe that this important story has not been covered.

Niagara County has always been known as a place where the politics is pretty hardcore, but the illegal use of Liberty Mutual resources by Rivera to spy on political opponents takes that to a whole new sleazy level.

I don't want to overuse the hyperbole but in our own small corner of the world in Niagara County, Rivera's actions to me are along the lines of the illegal domestic spying conducted by Cheney and his cronies.

I hope the word of this spreads. We can't allow this type of illegal and immoral action to take Niagara County politics even further into the gutter.

Larry S said...

This is definitely a significant development. I'm curious to know how you got such a scoop since the local media outlets missed it.

The bottom line is that Pink is right. This drags local politics down to a whole now low.

Clark Griswold said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Clark Griswold said...

Agreed. I think one of the most important, yet predictable, points that needs to be recognized from this development is the lack of media attention. Who are they really looking out for in Niagara County?

Big Daddy said...

I scoured all the newspapers this morning and didn't see anything on this.

Someone better give Terreri and Prohaska a kick in the pants. Then again, it's 2 p.m. on a Friday...there probably punched out for the day.

William Wallace said...

Wow! It would seem that at first the claims were baseless, but the Parenti suit confirms its truth. Makes me wonder who else is looking at our 'personal' info while they are "at work".

Pirate's Code said...

First, why is anyone surprised that a political operative would use any and all resources to dig up dirt on the opposition? Doesn't make it right, but it should be a shock.

Second, $20-k to settle a suit may or may not mean there was anything to the suit. Lawsuits are expensive to defend, and companies will make the decision to settle at a lower cost to avoid the larger expense of litigation. They usually come with some "this is not an admission of wrongdoing" disclaimer. $20-k is a tidy sum, but nobody is going to retire on that amount. And, frankly, $20-k probably isn't enough to get any reporter all tingly.

But, nothing would surprise me when it comes to Rivera. This has been his m.o. for a long time, going back to his days as the man behind the curtain during the ill-fated Ron Dawson administration in North Tonawanda.

Pirate's Code said...

Sorry, meant "it should NOT be a shock." One of these days my brain is going to introduce itself to my fingers when I type.

William Wallace said...

Pirate's...avoiding the expense of litigation is only part of why companies settle lawsuits. Here, that wasn't likely the case because most large comapnies have in house salaried lawyers who are paid regardless of their case-load. The other, more important factor that leads companies to settle is BAD PR!!!!!!

What would be bad enough PR that you would want to settle: oh, having an employee misuse an in-house company's database in order to dig-up dirt on a political opponent? They settled because they knew Rivera was up to no good and the suit being tried could gain too much PR and could make a lot of people weary to have their accounts with a company that can't keep its own clients information confidential.

Cardinal said...

This is a huge story. Why hasn't the local media reported on this? A 20K settlement seems like an admission of guilt to me since companies like Liberty Mutual don't settle unless there is something wrong going on. Using confidential information for political gain is something that may happen in Washington, DC, but has no place here in Niagara County. Dan Rivera should be ashamed of himself.

Sail Away said...

The Buffalo News reported the story in Saturday's edition, two days after it was reported on Niagara Times.

Cardinal said...

I see that Jill Terreri is behind the Times and Buffalo News ... yet again!

Mr. Pink said...

Congrats Sail Away on breaking the story. Let's see more of this stuff regarding all things political in Niagara County. At least the News picked up on this and made it front page of the local section.

You are now officially a muckraker.

William Wallace said...

Got any more good stories?