PEEKSKILL, N.Y. -- Peekskill Mayor Mary Foster and her opponent, Frank Catalina, continued their war of words, arguing in front of the Westchester Fair Campaign Practices Committee on Tuesday, Oct. 15.
Foster, a Democrat, and Catalina, a Republican, both claim that the other has used misleading rhetoric in campaign literature. The committee sided with Catalina on one of his four complaints and sided with Foster on five of her seven complaints.
Catalina's main complaint was that Foster took credit for things that did not occur on her watch, such as resolving the problem with White Plains Linen, and the fact that the city had numerous new businesses and millions in economic development. Only the White Plains Linen complaint was ruled in Catalina's favor, as Foster was able to provide a list of new and expanded businesses.
"She takes credit for things she had little or nothing to do with," Catalina said.
Catalina said while Foster's camp did present a list of new businesses and economic development, many of those businesses replaced businesses that closed under her watch.
"She should mention the businesses that went out of business," Catalina said. "One of the companies simply hired new employees. Is that really an expansion to take credit for? I don't think it's fair and accurate."
Foster complained that an article by the Peekskill GOP claimed that a public relations firm was hired to misrepresent what happened with the cancellation of the Peekskill Celebration, with the committee ruling in her favor, saying no evidence was presented.
Foster also complained that Catalina wrote 20 percent of Peekskill's workforce had been terminated under her watch, when the actual number was 14 percent. While the committee ruled in Foster's favor, Catalina said if you count employees who took early retirement and part time employees let go, the number is 20 percent.
"I will respect and abide by their decision," Catalina said of the non-binding rules. "Her campaign has not."
Marina Ciotti, a spokeswoman for the Peekskill Democrats said she hopes Catalina stops these back and forth hearings.
"Mr. Catalina is certainly not batting a thousand, as a lawyer he won one and lost five," Ciotti said. "I guess if he was a coach, most teams would fire him."