The Real Deal: Ice Cream Truck Turf War Costing Taxpayers
Updated: Friday, August 2 2013, 10:24 PM EDT
Gloversville – The ice cream truck turf war in Fulton County rages on. The owner of Sno Kone Joe was back in court Wednesday fighting to get back her permit to sell ice cream in the City of Gloversville. Wednesday was the third day of testimony in the permit case, a court battle that involves the Mayor, Police Chief and several other municipal employees.
The City of Gloversville says Amanda Scott and Josh Malatino have been causing problems for years while behind the wheel of their Sno Kone Joe trucks. When the two were criminally charged earlier this month with harassment, for following the Mr. Ding-a-Ling truck, playing loud music and trying to lure customers away by offering free ice cream, the city failed to renew Sno Kone Joes operating permit.
“When you have all these accounts, different officers responding, I think we put all those together and made the determination not to renew the license,” says Mayor Dayton King.
Scott petitioned the decision though and for the past three days a supreme court judge has listened to testimony about whether she should be able to get the $75 permit back. “I believe this is spending a lot of taxpayer money and we have a lot more important things to do and I hope this wraps up on Monday,” Mayor King told CBS6 outside of court.
By the time all is said and done in this case, the Mayor, the Police Chief, the City Clerk and a number of police officers will have testified and because they are all named specifically in the complaint, it is their legal right to be in the courtroom for the duration of the hearing.
“There are a lot more things I wish we were doing. We are still doing some of those things, for the Police Chief and myself... the clock doesn't end at 4 o'clock, we're still working,” King adds.
Adding to the bill for taxpayers, the City Attorney had a conflict with the case so, outside council had to be hired at a cost of $150/hour. Amanda Scott’s attorney says while the case has generated national attention, mainly with comedic undertones, there is a lot at stake.
"The principals are pretty important, the City of Gloversville is basically telling Amanda that you're not going to earn a living selling ice cream here and that's her whole source of income, so the stakes are somewhat higher even though the background is somewhat comical,” says Bill Lorman.
The case will resume on Monday at 9am.