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Ryan's comments costs Ulster County taxpayers $75,000

Aug 22, 2023 12:34 pm

Patricia R. Doxsey reports in the Daily Freeman that Ulster County taxpayers will pay $75,000 and insurance costs to settle a defamation lawsuit brought by former Public Defender Andrew Kossover against the county and former County Executive Pat Ryan. Jason Kovacs, a Republican candidate for the county Legislature, released a copy of the settlement agreement after filing a request for the document under the state’s Freedom of Information Act. Kossover and his wife, Victoria, sued for $700,000 after Ryan deliberately made “false and derogatory statements” to the press in a Feb. 14, 2020 press release announcing Kossover had resigned after he “repeatedly and inexplicably failed” to submit routine and required paperwork. The press release blamed Kossover for the county to missing out on nearly $2.5 million in state aid. Later, an audit by the Ulster County Comptroller’s Office found that the county did not receive grant funds because of former County Executive Mike Hein’s office, which refused to allow Kossover to hire enough staff to receive the state funding. Kossover claimed that Ryan's comments caused “severe humiliation, loss of reputation and good standing in the community, mental anguish (and) severe emotional and physical distress,” as well as loss of employment opportunities, loss of income, and economic damage. Ryan is now a Congressperson, representing the 18th Congressional District. Read more about this story in the Daily Freeman.

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