By Chuck Stewart, Sr.
Hudson Valley Press Publisher
On Friday, September 6, 2013 I was shocked by a noise, which sounded like a bomb or a plane had crashed into my office building. To my surprise, it was not a bomb or a plane, but instead a drunken driver allegedly employed by the City of Newburgh, who drove his car out of control, where he hit and totaled one vehicle, seriously damaged at least two other cars before final stop of running into the side of my building.
Shortly thereafter, following a 911 call by my office, members of the City of Newburgh Police Department, Fire Department, and Mobile Life descended on the accident scene, where they did an excellent job of providing the necessary accident services.
Out of the blue, a Felix Medina showed up, identified himself as a building inspector and insinuated himself into the process and where he was persisting in accusing me, wrongfully, of not having a permit for the wall billboard on my building, which happens to display Planned Parenthood. Medina‘s obsession with Planned Parenthood’s billboard, which suggested his protest of Planned Parenthood’s message and public display. To further his protest, four days later Medina posted a condemnation sign from The Newburgh Code Enforcement Office signed by the City of Newburgh Code Enforcement Supervisor Steve Hunter and Felix Medina, the Code Enforcement Agent. The Condemnation poster attached to my building stated in part: "Condemnation unfit for human occupancy." Nothing was further from the truth. This was even more convincing that Medina was using his authority to protest my decision to display Planned Parenthood on my billboard. The damage to my building did not compromise the integrity of the structure. This is a clear case of malfeasance by Steve Hunter and Felix Medina. It is reasonable to conclude that it is they who are "unfit to occupy the office of code and building inspectors."
If Steve Hunter and Felix Medina think that I must vacate my building after having been damaged by a City of Newburgh’s alleged drunken employee who drove his car into my building, then I would urge them to rent suitable space at the Town of Newburgh Hilton for my operation at their expense, and I would be happy to accept. Otherwise, I’d suggest that they do the job that my hard earned tax dollars are paying them and go after real code violators, as I am sure they know who and where they are, and cease their selective code enforcement.
When Verizon committed a violation by allowing its phone lines to hang as low as 13 feet off the ground, over my property for a period of two years; I was forced to sue Verizon to resolve this issue, because the Newburgh Code Enforcement officer, a former Verizon employee by the way, would not issue a violation. In short, this action against me would not have happened had it been The Times Herald Record, under the same circumstances. What they have attempted to do, under false pretense is to hi-jack Planned Parenthood’s right to free speech and kidnap their first amendment rights and have me to terminate their display billboard advertisement which makes Hunter and Medina unfit to occupy the office of building inspector.